I hope that my writing tips will give you pause for thought, help develop your writing or even provide a hint of inspiration. Come back soon to see the next tip.
A few days ago I watched the film: The Way. It ‘s about one man’s emotional pilgrimage on the path to St James Cathedral at Compostela in Spain and it set me thinking about the writing journey…
All writing is a leap into the unknown, an act of faith. If you wait until everything is in place; money, a room, equipment and spare time then nothing gets written. Ideas have to be caught when they fall, on backs of envelopes if needed, in the wee small hours of the night, on a train journey. You snatch time and space from everything else in a busy life to make your journey happen.
A beginning writer may start with a poem, a journal or outline and see how it expands into something bigger. You may choose to use vacation leave to go on a course , investing in your dream. Find a corner on the kitchen table, a bedroom or a shed to be alone with your ideas and your laptop or pen to watch the magic happen. Offices can come later.
You have declared your intent to be a pilgrim!
Like the pilgrims of old you walk in faith, turn up at the page to get those words down before they are lost in the ether. How many times have I thought of something and not written it down only to find it has quickly vanished from my mind.
A writer’s path towards a finished piece of work is full of cul de sacs , junctions, alternative routes. There is no mapped route to certain success. Sometimes we have to re route, double back and even start over but in this act of writing you become a writer but some craft has to be learned before we let ourselves loose in the public arena.
Publication can be a slow route, securing an agent, a publisher, editor etc. Not easy these days and very disheartening at times. Many now choose to by- pass this steep slope in favour of instant ebook publication. I despair of the vanity of some, so desperate to be out there, that they prefer not to pay for serious editing and it shows… A quick fix solution perhaps but it can back fire. Poor writing and narrative can be sussed by a reader and the author will be avoided next time round.
On this journey we can learn from other authors, join a writing community or by reading those who have gone before. It can be lonely but there’s always others out there willing to help if you ask. There will be wilderness years, groping towards work that will sell, finding your unique voice and level and keeping up the pressure to produce good stories.
Beginning writers, pre published, call it what you will, we are all on the same journey towards recognition from readers that we have tales worth telling. So don’t rush or be disheartened. Time is on your side for as Kipling said. “Writing is a lifetime’s occupation.”