They say that there is a story in everyone and many people will frequently say “I could write a book about what I’ve heard/seen/done/lived through”. At this point most people, myself included, simply stop and dwell on things without taking things any further. An associate of mine is a frequent writer who always seems to be writing something and while not prolific or famous he seems to keep himself fairly busy.
Recently a colleague was discussing some of his writing and said “I’ve got a great idea”, to which my associate said “write it down!” repeatedly which struck a chord with me on a subliminal level* We all plan to “get around” to doing something but rarely devote any time to *actually* achieving our goals.
The reasons for why we seem to stumble at the first hurdle are many and varied. Some of us are looking for some “quiet time” in which we can gather our thoughts before committing them to paper. Others are looking for their creative muse to arise so they can write “in the moment” and then there are those who are trying too hard to write the “perfect article”first time.
I find myself often in a conflict between wanting some peace and quiet (which is nearly impossible in an open plan house with 2 kids!) and trying to avoid the distractions of sitting in front of the TV or the laptop but not actually doing anything really productive. There’s nothing wrong with watching TV, noodling around the web, listening to music or even talking to the wife! (at least until she says “When are you going to get around to…”)
When it comes to writing there are many approaches writers take, some like to research their subject matter in depth (always a good idea) and check for accuracy especially when writing either in the technical/medical/legal disciplines or when writing in a historical setting. Some people like to spend their time in developing their characters and plotlines before commencing while others choose to write on the spur of the moment captivating the passion and sense of urgency letting the story flow its own course.
One thing to keep in mind is that once you start putting your thoughts down you’re engaged in the action of creative writing. Don’t worry about how it may sound at first, that’s what editing and revising your work is all about, as long as you keep it real and straight from your heart you’re on the right track.
Now what shall I write about..?
*The inspiration for this article was purely as a result of a conversation I heard the other day at work and I just opened Word without thinking and started writing.