Thursday, 5 January 2012

W is for Writing

To be a writer all you have to do is write.  

Sounds simple, doesn't it?  I know I'm not alone in that, while I love writing, I find it very hard to actually DO some.  Once I'm going it's not hard, but those first words on the page before I've settled down are grim.  

Writers write.  

If only that were so, there'd be a lot fewer angsty writers around.  I don't know a single writer who doesn't fret about their writing practice to some extent.  What we do is develop strategies to get us writing - planning ahead, setting word count targets, working in spaces without internet access.  Routine helps for most people, although that routine varies from writer to writer.  

The only secret formula in successful writing is summarised by one 5 letter word beginning with W...

You know it.  I know it.  You can spend a lot of good writing time fretting about how much you really ought to be writing.  You can spend a lot of good writing time reading blogs, following writers, agents and publishers on Twitter.  You can spend a lot of good writing time doing the ironing or watching TV...  

Writers write.  That's all there is to it.  I wish it wasn't like that, but there it is.  To be a writer you've got to write.  



Giles Diggle said...

I agree, it can be tough. Getting back to it in the last two days has been hard.

Language is power and the key to unlocking the imagination - be it words, the vocabulary of paint or the syntax of film or whatever medium you choose to work in.

Time is the enemy, not writer's block. You can undam your imagination through practising your craft. Time, alas, cannot be defeated.

Write anything, write something! Tear it up afterwards or store it away, but get some words down asap.

Philip C James said...

Agree with you both.

And yes, I'm struggling to get back into the swing. Early December was fine but then I did some temping up to and over Christmas and that upset, among other things, my routine.

Also, we make a rod for our own backs by using the words 'creative' and 'creativity'. If we were wage-slaves on an assembly line, we'd have to conform to the demands the machines and management place on us. Perhaps we make things harder for ourselves by waiting for our muses to put down their coffees and pitch in.

So from those professional writers I know/have known, I think the common key is D for Discipline.

Jo said...

I've found what helps me to get down and write are a list of prompts, ideally set by someone else. I write straight from the heart and as fast as I can for as long as I can (usually about 20 minutes and 500 words). Once I've done that, I find I can either keep going or start on the work-in-progress. Arrange a fixed time with another writer and email each other a few prompts or themes, then go, go, go!

Sarah Duncan said...

Spot on Giles re getting something - anything - down. Tis the only answer.

Phil, D is for Discipline, but also Dogged Determination. I'm not disciplined, but I do have quite a lot of dogged determination, particularly if someone tells me I can't do something. That's guaranteed to get me going.

Jo, love the idea of a list of prompts supplied by someone else. And teaming up with another writer too. I've seen other writers do this on Twitter.

Diane Fordham said...

I write everyday. I am one unhappy camper if I don't. At the very least I write in my journal, as long as I write something during the day I can sleep at night. I'm a bit obsessive about writing..okay, a lot. :-)

Patsy said...

I'm making a real effort to do more actual writing this year.

Sarah Duncan said...

Writing everyday is a good habit Diane. A little writing, often, makes for a lot over time.

Patsy, well done with getting more writing done, and hope you can keep on with it this year.