I have a delightful day job. If you go here, and you look carefully, you will find four ghostly white boxes that glow when the image first loads and then again when you mouse over any one of them. The boxes are little trivia Easter eggs that take you on innernets adventures when you click on them. My job is to decide where the links will take you, and to write the copy that pops up when you mouse over the boxes.
The point here is not so much to brag about my job or to pimp the site, as it is to set the stage for the six Ws. My boss, in describing our editorial philosophy, came up with this, “We tell a story about the image. We have the Who, What, When, Where, and Why, and then we add the Wacky.” Wacky is the sixth W!
So what does this have to do with fairy tales? Not much, when you look at it head on. But it has a lot to do with good writing and the creative process. No matter what your experience level, it’s really easy to lock yourself down in a tangle of shoulds, oughts, and unreasonable expectations when you’re working on a piece. The first five Ws are vitally important, it’s true. But it’s the sixth W, the wacky, that can infuse a dry, dusty, technically flawless creation with the juicy passion that brings it to life.
Don’t be afraid of your wacky ideas. Try to set your creative compass so that true North is passion and delight. Life is too short to edit out the things that truly engage us, no matter how silly or uncomfortable or weird they might seem at first blush.