Meditations on writing


I’ve been putting off writing lately, and by lately I actually mean for the last one year or so. Initially I figured that I didn’t have time for it: two young children, a full time job, long commute to/from work, etc. I’d come home tired and put off writing for ‘tomorrow’. Well, tomorrow turned into weeks, that turned into months, that eventually turned into a year. I wrote on the odd day or two, but never consistently.

I love reading, and I am always in awe of people that can eloquently put thoughts into words. Reading a good book or a well argued article online or in a magazine has always given me a buzz. “I wish I could write like that,” I’d always wish silently. But whenever I’d pick up a pen or tap a few keys on the keyboard, I would freeze.
Writing scared the shit out of me. It still does.

Whenever I write, a little voice inside my head is always there to remind me that:
1. I’m not good enough
or that
2. no one cares about what I have to say
or that
3. I just sound plain silly
Unfortunately despite the deep love of self expression that beats in my heart, the little voice in my head almost always wins.

A few days ago, I signed up for a free fictional writing course online (futurelearn.com) and one of the first lessons we were given was one on consistency. According to the lesson, greatness comes from writing everyday no matter how short or trivial that writing may be. The lesson suggested that we (the students) keep a journal and carry a notebook with us at all times. At various times of the day, we were encouraged to:
-write what we are thinking
-jot down observations of people
-notice and make note of the even the small, but interesting, details of the world around us.

According to our online tutor, keeping note of all these observations would provide us with a rich source of characters and plots. All we needed to do is to refer back to our notes, add a little imagination, and write out different scenarios for the our characters.

Like fitness, the only way to develop strength in writing is by consistently playing with words every single day. Some days you will write rubbish, and that’s ok. Other days you will write masterpieces. Every day will bring different fortunes-the key is to be patient and persistent.

Which brings me back to this blog. I promise I’ll try my best not to let fear get the better of me this time. Whether it be in my journal or here, I will write. Everyday. Single. Day.

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