“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
– Ernest Hemingway
We are all writers, well at least we are all story-tellers. We narrate, we express, we speak, we convey situations, thoughts, emotions and whatnot through our conversations. We dream, don’t we? We dream in our own tongues, imagining myriad sceneries, exotic locations, epic heroics and a successful personality to say the least.
We are expressive and we are social animals. And writing isn’t any much different than talking. Actually more often than not writing is easier to people who are a tad shier than the rest. But, introvert or not, writing is not a skill to master, or a mountain to climb.
Writing is merely a habit, a habit you either inculcate from a young age, or a habit you re-introduce into your life through a few methods or tips I’ll mention below. Writing is not a certified course, it is not branch of Masters, nor is it a specific graduate degree.
I think the most common excuse that people raise when it comes to their writing or its lack thereof, is the absence of inspiration in their lives. Thats complete nonsense. Complete and utter B.S.
Anything ranging from music, travel, a walk in the park, usual conversations with people, a flickering bulb in a room, a wet dog on the footpath, or even the metro sounds on a winter’s night can serve as inspiration.
At this day an age anyone chasing inspiration is only waiting perfectly to be run over by a speeding bus or get hit on the head by a falling piano. And I guarantee you, any of the two incidents might trigger the creativity in a passer-by or any newsreader, who’d get his dose of inspiration for writing.
So yea, don’t be the prey, be the predator. Hone your instincts, and this is very easy, by keeping an open mind and reading a lot. An open mind is equivalent to being curious and attentive. Curiosity will drive you to learn new things and expand your library of knowledge.
Reading develops writing immensely. Do not limit your knowledge to just a few spheres or a few topics. As James Patterson said, “No one likes a know-it-all, but then don’t be that kid who just knows about Video Games and Beer”.
A wise man once said “Don’t beat about the bush”, and that applies quite appropriately to writing. Be it your daily blog, an article, or your own diary or travel journal entry, write without any second thought. Do not begin editing things right off the bat. Write first, edit later in iterations.
There is no hard and fast rule to begin writing something. One thing though – A blank page hinders a lot of progress. So at times you could, just before sleeping maybe, add a link or two from something someone said online, or some quote or some dialogue. Doesn’t have to be anything original. That way when you wake up the next day or revise that page the next time, it wont be a vast blank canvas for you to begin with precision and accuracy.
That quote or dialogue or sentence might help you construct your own words and it serves as the perfect catalyst to allow the words and paragraphs to cascade from your mind.
“So many books, so little time.”
– Frank Zappa
Keep a handy journal or diary near you always. You never know when inspiration or an idea will hit you. 3am voila moments, or even at the bathroom stall in a mall, you might get a brainwave of something interesting.
And howsoever incredulous that idea or line of thought may seem after a bit of pondering, try to avoid going into this evaluative and contemplative phase of deep thinking. Jot down the idea, and tuck it away for some perfect moody day to inspire you or help you escape a dead-end in your story or article.
Music is amazing, one of mankind’s greatest creations. Embrace it, listen to it before, after, during writing or whenever is best for you. It soothes you, it cancels out most noise from the background, and sometimes even the most basic of lyrics or guitar riffs or keyboard sonatas can conjure up a voluminous dose of inspiration and paint a masterpiece in your creative mind.
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality.
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me”
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