10 thoughts that may help you write!
Let’s take a break from all things Joyce!
I recently attended a workshop with Yvonne Cullen, who is a very cool and ultra creative facilitator of learning and writing! As a task, she asked us to think about the things that help us write. Here are mine, if they are any good to you. I’ll have a few more for you coming up!
- Write about what you are into, your fascinations and your passions. Don’t write about things that seem quirky or topics, characters or settings that you feel are interesting. What fascinates you about human beings? I used to write to a certain style or a certain literary magazine but it doesn’t work. You know that if you become successful on writing in an unnatural way, you will feel crap about it. Better to fail but be true. Even better to succeed and be true! Bargain!
- Voice is hard-but, always write in your natural voice. Don’t feel the need to add extra descriptions or adjectives or ideas that are not reflective of you. At the end of the day, you need to be unique and stand out. Don’t copy anyone else or pretend. Be true to you. Sounds very sentimental but we have a million experimental, James Joyce-esque writers. You need to write like you.
- Write down every idea you have, be it a newspaper article, something someone has said. If it fascinates you, then you could have a story or poem. Interesting is much better than important in terms of human themes or preoccupations. You can come back to this idea. I always have a list of things to write about. It is just a case of getting the time!
- I learned that the best way to deal with other writers critiquing my work is to graciously accept their advice and words from the onset. Unless, they are saying something crazy! But, even then I take on board all the opinions from my writers’ group and write them down, go away and process. Often, in the heat of the moment, other people’s well-meaning advice can be taken the wrong way. I often see things differently in the quietness of my home.
- Surround yourself with friends and supporters who read and write and love the world you are in. You will be inspired and motivated by their successes and passions(that word again)
- Keep going and when you do become successful, stay modest. My Mum always told me that there was always someone else in the world who is better than you, no matter how great you do or how great you think you are. I think this is grounding. A lack of modesty and openness can lead to your writing becoming stale.
- Don’t show off. If you are writing a story, try to tell the story, first and foremost. If you are writing a poem, the same thing is to get your message out, good and clear.
- What works for me is talking and discussions. Sometimes, I know what the problem behind my writing is. I might have the problem in the back of my mind . Sharing my story with my husband or the writers’ group and listening to them bring up the difficult questions that my brain knows too well is hard but useful. It is a process. Again, take the difficult or challenging questions and comments away and ask yourself if this is correct for your story.
- Music-music is my biggest helper when writing. I log onto spotify where I have various folders based on the mood of the character or story or setting I am trying to set. For example, I listened to a cool, funky R and B song by Katey Perry when writing a teenager voice recently. I use Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, U2, Aimee Mann and Moby nearly all of the time as their vibes suit my style and really inspire me. Covers of songs are great too.
- A good strong coffee and music in my earphones work all the time when writing. Plug your earphones in, sip the coffee and just write! Then go back and start all over again!