Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday Soirée - How to be a writer

Starting today, and continuing every Saturday, as God spares life, gives good health and time, I plan to share one piece of advice from the long list that I’ve been passing on for the last six years.

Despite the plethora of information about writing, whether part-time or fulltime, aspiring writers are still asking questions. That is a clear indication that we, as writers who have been there, done that and are continuing to find joy in writing, cannot say enough, do enough or write enough about the journey from wishing to writing and finding both personal and financial satisfaction in working and playing with words.

It baffles me that anyone could be thinking of becoming a writer and yet has not even begun to cultivate the habit of writing on a regular basis. Yet, that is the reality. I’m not even talking about writing everyday. Even if someone said to me that they make time to write every weekend when they are free from their employment or other demands, I would think, they just might have the early pinging of a true aspiring writer. Now that is not to say that if someone, who only dreams of writing cannot become a writer.

So, when like most writers, I get the question, “How to be a writer?” I always respond with this question, “Are you writing?” You might be surprised to learn that many of those asking the first question, answer “No,” to the second.

Question 1: How to be a writer?

Write, please write.

Shift your focus from the glory of publication and zero in on the writing itself. It’s all about the process. That’s where it begins. That is where you will discover what writing really means to you. Savor the thrill and liberating experience of spending time with words. Enjoy the flow of emotions from your heart to your head where they transform into words that then pass through your fingers onto the page or screen. This is not as mystical or magical as it may seem. Rather it is the most practical thing you can do for your dream of becoming a writer. It is the first and best practice that will help you to cultivate the beginnings of the kind of dogged discipline necessary to succeed as a writer and maintain a passionate affair with writing.

It doesn’t matter whether you use loose pages, plain notebooks, online or print journals. Choose your medium and write. Write anything: to do lists, a running commentary on the shenanigans of your co-workers, crazy little stories that find you at the most inconvenient time, your children’s antics, your neighbor's strange behavior and so on. You get it, write about anything.

Till next Saturday, write, please write.

If you’re not shy, feel free to share some of things you write about to feed your dream of becoming a writer.

No comments:

Share |