15 Sep Writing 101: Be inspired
Every writer, good or bad, is faced with one major problem – captivating the attention of the reader and keeping it. Now the former is easy; all one needs is a half a plot and a few good words that give the illusion of an exciting journey through the lines of the story, but the latter isn’t as easy. No. In fact, seasoned writers still fear losing the attention of their audience and the ability to withhold the mind of the reader so much so that pages and time fly, is what separates the good writers from the bad. Hard as it already is, it doesn’t help that most times than not a writer is faced with a “writer’s block”.
The point now is to lay down a few tips that should help any writer achieve the overall task of connecting with his inner creative, laying the foundation of a good plot and building it and, spiriting the readers into the world he/she has created for them.
1. Your surrounding is never boring: No, it never is. Pause. Take a few minutes to look around, I mean, really look around you. Notice the things, human or not, that surround you and study them closely. Only in doing that can you notice and appreciate the oddities in each one; that old chair in the corner that has been sentenced to a life of termite decay and seems to be taking its last breaths, those books so neatly arranged on the table that their pages form a white flight of steps to knowledge, the walls that are chameleon-ed with color to hide the secrets they keep. Each has a story to tell, be the voice.
2. Surround yourself with creatives: This only seems right as “like minds think alike”. The real reason is that writers like you have a lot to tell, from true experiences to woven lies. The stories and ideas dribbled back and forth in a field of writers will only ignite the imagination and inspire stories; a writer is nothing without an imagination.
3. Read: A writer should comfortably fit into both roles of being a writer and a reader and as such, must have an acquired taste for written words- poems, novels, documentaries, etc. Reading the works of new and seasoned writers, old and modern books, plays a big role in influencing the mind and style of the writer(now reader). You begin to notice the play of words of the author, the depth of the story, the style, wild imagination and ability to use words to caress the minds of readers. Reading widely goes a long way in expanding the imagination of a writer and solidifying his style. Keep up with your favorite authors too.
4. Write: “Take out time every day, or week, to sit at your table and write. Or at least try to”, said every author who has achieved best-sellers through the art of writing. It all boils down to practice, and practice makes perfect. While having a seat at the table, you might find yourself dabbling in a few plots and tapping away at your computer. There’s no harm in trying, right?
5. Jot it: Don’t wait till you have a solid story in your head before picking a pen or a laptop, put down your ideas as they come. If you’re in the middle of a class and an idea for a story pops into your wildly imaginative head, flip to the back of your note and scribble it all down; don’t wait till the end of the class, you might lose it. Go back to them at the end of the day and play with them, inspirations all around, waiting to be stretched and beaten and formed into a beautiful piece. Isn’t it how gold pieces are made?
6. Be yourself: Every writer’s mind is a story in itself, a galaxy filled with characters and places floating around, waiting to be rightfully used, and the authenticity of the writer will help put ‘tips 1-5’ into place. Sure, there’ll be a lot of literary influences but the true test is whether the writer can form his own image apart from the many that have been erected. And whether that image can stand on its own. Originality is what breathes life into each character and none can survive without it, albeit its frame might have been formed with reference from another. A writer is a person and as any person will, he is subject to change but as long as he never loses himself through all that, then he’ll be just fine. Let’s face it- who else can you be?
I hope these tips will help draw inspiration from where it should. Most of them have been forged from the experience of writers all over the world and are really helpful to anyone born with the will to write, while a few are tips that I’ve found useful. And you might too. If you have any other tips that you have found useful too, feel free to share it below. We writers have got nothing but our stories and ourselves.