Lesson 2: Making a writer out of you / Lesson 1: What is creative writing? / Lesson 3: Making A Better Writer Out Of You
What do we need to get started in writing?
The Tools of The Trade
Anyone with reasonable literary skills can write, but not many people can write well. (Including me)
Yet we all have the opportunity to use this means of expressing our creative energy.
You don’t need much: no money- only time and IMAGINATION.
To start writing, all you need is a place, a pen, paper, and an idea (which comes through the amazing power of the human mind).
Firstly, work habits: Organize yourself (my big difficulty in all areas of life!). Decide WHERE you want to write. Which room will enable you to concentrate and lift your spirits the most? I find writing outdoors enables me to be most relaxed and therefore at my most creative.
Allocate a few hours a day when you won’t be disturbed.
Then stick to it with total COMMITMENT (remember the qualities of a writer from lesson one?).
What other tools are there to help you?
The local library, dictionaries, like a Thesaurus, definitely do research online…
And especially, a dictionary of quotations. Can you start a sentence with an “and”?
All of these resources are extremely helpful to a writer.
I find that local library and Research online for information especially helpful.
Get to know your way around, to find out where things are.
Using this resource saves a great deal of time and frustration…and most of all money, not having to buy books (“cheap skate”, like me).
Well being a “poor writer”(yet rich in spirit)
What other resources are easily available?
Dictionaries: Such as the Oxford Dictionaries of Quotations.
They’ll always come in handy when you’re looking for a good quote.
Incidentally, good grammar and punctuation, together with presentation, is very important in getting published. I still practicing, which I will try to cover more on this subject in subsequent lessons.
As my English teacher at school said, READ, READ, READ. It develops vocabulary (another nice long word).
Use Microsoft Word
Once you’ve got this clear in your mind, place, time, tools (like pen and paper), or computer program like Microsoft Word.
Microsoft Word make life so much easier for writers: you can quickly rewrite by moving words around or simply cutting them out altogether. They even have a spell check for those not too confident in this area.
All writers continually revise their work many times to make the words flow better (don’t say ‘continually’ and ‘many times’ – they mean the same thing!).
Now we have all the tools, time to get started.
I believe the best training for new writers is to write as often and as much as you can.
So write about ANYTHING that tickles your fancy.
It doesn’t matter, as long as you WRITE.
It is practice and experience (and life experiences) that counts.
“Practice, practice, and practice”
When I look at my first manuscripts, I can clearly see how much I think my writing has improved in the last few years.
At least I think so and I still keep practicing every day!
What else can you write about?
This is becoming a forgotten art.
You could also keep a diary.
Write about your thoughts, your feelings, your daily experiences, your hopes your fears, your dreams.
Doing this regularly hones your writing skills.
You can take courses at universities, colleges, polytechnics, or this one.
As well as the course content, I think that writing courses have a definite social function; because they keep you in touch with other like-minded people… and always remember writing is such a solitary occupation.
It’s certainly a great lifestyle change for me.
I do greatly miss that human contact…but perhaps it will come…one day.
It time to Take a coffee break…
Let’s get Back to the lesson…
Generally seek out information about writing and make the effort to meet people involved in writing. Those earnest “intellectual arty forty types” with berets, who read out their work to bored listeners. How dull listening to a boring old fart like me reading my damn books, in which nothing happens! Far better to do something physical and worthwhile, like press-ups to raise money for charity.
Time to get serious and back to the point I was trying to make. Another attempt. What was I saying?
It’s very very (don’t repeat yourself- redundant words) hard work with usually very very low pay.
I’ve been working solidly for few years now on my writing, and try selling my eBooks, yet I still haven’t earned enough to pay the bills… and I have no idea what I’ll earn in the future . So writing is definitely not the best way to become a millionaire!
But *Since I started blogging writing, things have changed drastically and many more of my guides are being published on my blog…and I start seeing profits… At last Some people like my humors!
So after all this…
Are you sure you still want to be a writer and continue with this course?
Well done, nice to have you still on board.
What to Write About?
This is the writer’s principal dilemma.
I definitely think that it is best to write about what you know about and what interests you – rather than what you THINK will sell. Write about your experiences and feelings from Your World.
Just because you have a collection of poems published in magazines, doesn’t mean a book of poems will sell well. Don’t know why I put that in there, but I might as well leave it in.
I only write from the heart about subjects that have a deep meaning (significance) for me.
I could never write a Mills & Boons romance, just because it is what the market wants. Not even if I was to be kicked out in the street to live in a paper bag.
How to get started?
Start with an idea.
Then ask yourself: How do I get it into print?
Develop your imagination and try to create your own individual style of writing.
In my self-help, uplifting and “inspirational” works I’ve written about things which have been said many times before, but I’ve tried to put them in my own words – in a light, “unique breezy” style with my “wacky humors”. Because I believe the role of the writer is to entertain, as well as inform.
Perhaps even inspire!
So write about what you know and what interests you.
Writing about your passions will usually have most feeling and power… because it’s the real you speaking from the heart.
The end on lesson 2 (thank goodness).
Write down some headings about your interests, hobbies and passions, then write a few paragraphs about them.
May be, you could simply write a bit about yourself and your successes in life to date. I’m sure you’ve got plenty!
When you write for others to see, you bare your soul; but you also reach out and give something of yourself. That’s what I’ve tried to do in all of my writing, including this lesson.
You have to learn to “write and be damned” (did that with my political letters, “stirrer”!)
You even leave yourself open to the ridicule of others, as I’m doing with this “wacky” humour. Don’t worry, I can take it and I’m happy doing what I want to do.
Enough heavy philosophizing. Hope you’ve learnt something and enjoyed the lesson, , but remember your “freebies” are running out soon…
Till next time
Happy writing and enjoy…See you tomorrow…Lesson 3: Making A Better Writer Out Of You
PS Hope these words will inspire you…
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
You playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is in us. It’s not just within some of us.
It’s in everyone. When we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give to other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson and Nelson Mandela (a man whose generosity of spirit I admire so much)
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