Is your head swirling with ideas and you have a niggling urge to put them to paper? You just don’t know how to start perhaps, or harbour the idea you would never be good enough to get them read, never mind published. I want you to start by answering the questions below:
- Do you like to read? Which do you enjoy reading the most; Novels? Magazine articles? Blogs? Non-Fiction?
- Do you/did you enjoy literature and creative writing in school?
- Do you enjoy researching material?
- Do you feel the need to record your thoughts, ideas and experiences?
- Can you imagine a whole story just from a picture? Or you like to imagine people’s lives when you sit in a Café or a Restaurant?
- Can you envisage the outcome before the end when you watch a movie?
- Do you have a good command of the English language?
- How do you spend your free time?
Anyone who has a propensity to creative writing would have answered positively to most of these questions. Now, I want to ask you, what are you waiting for? When you have made enough money to retire? Or when the kids have grown up and left home? If you think you just don’t have the time and that’s why you have never started, ask yourself this: what have I done every day that has filled my time? I am aware we all have busy schedules and daily tasks to fulfill, but I want to ask you how many hours a day do you watch TV? Two or three? Even longer?
If you decide today to spend one hour a day – or even 30 minutes – to permit yourself this gift of time to be by yourself and write, I can promise you that if you write only one or two pages a day, you will have a few articles, or a complete outline of your book or even one or two chapters in only a month.
The secret is to START! No excuses! You deserve the right to pursue and develop a passion. Lose the guilt that you are being selfish – you are putting your time to better use than staring mindlessly at the television – a numbing drug if you ask me! To stimulate our minds keeps dementia away and the very fact that you are being more productive is any consolation for the guilt of spending time alone indulging your passion. I am not saying we should have no time to relax and never watch TV, I am saying that if you analyse your daily routine you will most definitely find 30 minutes you could put to better use.
You don’t need an office, you can write at the kitchen table, out in the garden or even on your lap on the sofa. All you need is a little quiet time to get your thoughts in place and your creative juices flowing. “I work all day and don’t feel like it,” or “the kids are always too noisy” – all excuses – the kids go to bed earlier than you and what about writing in your lunch hour? If you want to write you will find some time to do so. Just decide to start! Now, Today.
EXERCISE: Choose a book you have already read and thoroughly enjoyed.
You should now read this same book a second time, only not for the pure enjoyment with which you read it the first time as a reader, but this time to study it as a writer.
While reading, you should evaluate the following:
- How did the author structure the book?
- How did the author handle the plot of the story?
- Consider the characters of the people in the book. How did you feel about them? What kind of emotions did they stir in you?
- What was the theme of the story? Is it a theme you can relate to on a personal level?
- What was the author’s approach to relating the story?
- Whose viewpoint was foremost?
- What was the relevance of the title to the story? Why do you think the author chose that one above all others?
If you have the Writing Bug the only way to cure it is by writing! Next time, I am going to give you an overview of each of the aspects you studied in reading your book (as each one needs to be discussed more comprehensively and shall be addressed in the blogs,) and I am going to show you how to outline and plan your ideas to form your own book.
Until then, happy reading!