Thoughts On Writing

Writing is much more than putting words together meaningfully. It is an art form that requires dedication from the writer, among other things. If one isn’t really interested, then no force can make that person a writer.
Some believe people who are excellent writers have this skill since birth. There is no truth whatsoever in this as we are all born equal, genetic mutation aside, and what kind of writer we become depends on what we become. Fiction writers are creative and imaginative while non-fiction writers are more observant. Note that these are not the only, or even basic, criteria for deciding which kind of writer a person is. It depends on the interest as well. You can’t write about a world you can’t imagine even if the price for such a story is to become the ruler of the world.
Every one of us has some grasp on grammar and communication. All we further need is a lot of practice and patience to develop the skill of writing. Is it enough? No, but it is the first step in the right direction. There is another important skill as well that we need to improve our writing. That’s our self-confidence. To those who already have it, you are in luck as this is one of the very important side-skills you will need. To those who don’t, I can only say that I feel for you. I too hesitate in showing my writing. I wished for anonymity and so chose an online platform to start sharing stories. I have some regular silent readers but at least I have enough comfort in knowing that someone read me and didn’t post a negative review.
Note the fact that I haven’t used the word ‘author’ anywhere above. It is always ‘writer’ for me. This is because author, poet, etc. are words that limit our playground to experiment in than the word writer. Everyone prefers to define these words for themselves, whatever may be the actual meaning of the word. I define a ‘writer’ as the person who loves to play with words. And for me, an ‘author’ is one who plays with words in only novels or similar works. I ask you, when the sky’s the limit, why restrict ourselves to the ground?
In this first post, I won’t go deep into the writing methodologies. Instead, I will present the idea of writing as an option. An option for what, you ask? Thank you for questioning.
In simplest words I can come up with, writing is an opportunity to change things, create whole new and different worlds and (re)discover yourself. You write to change things when you use the ‘what if…” questions to consider the things that could be instead of what is. How would things be if you could remember your previous life? How would you react in a war-torn world where the infamous date of 09/11 sparked the beginning of World War 3?
Then there are the options of creating new worlds, which may be better, worse or just different from ours. These can be fantasy worlds you delve into to escape your dull and monotonous life or worlds that haunt your thoughts every awake moment (in either good way or bad way). The world could be a dystopian one or one still stuck in the dark ages or one of magic, mystery and murder. Or we could go for the simpler approach and have our own world with only a single fundamental change that redefines everything we have ever known. You are the creator with a thousand worlds in your mind and only you can choose how to build one. The rest will take care of itself.
Every word you write, every scene you describe, every life you create is a part of you. This is the essence of the idea of writing as a way of (re)discovering yourself. When you write – be it a poem, a novella, or a full-length novel – you reveal a piece of yourself. Every character, no matter how much you try to make it distinct to yours, will be fuelled by your unique traits. Be it your dreams, your hopes, your fears or your grievances, they all influence the words you build the world of your characters with and how they react. It helps you to develop a connection with the characters and make them more realistic.
There have been people who believe that if you write, you write for others to read about you. Or sometimes people believe that writers write for the audience and they should follow their reader’s demands. Be it a 1000 – page fiction or a short poem, when you write for the first few times (this may stretch to a 100 as well in certain cases!), you write for yourself. The saying that you can’t be a good writer if you can’t write well in the very first time is a lie. Accept it. There is a very high probability that your writing will be so bad that it would induce hysteria and vomit. But don’t lose hope and remember the fact that everyone has to start somewhere and I already told you that patience and practice are two very important requirements to develop your writing. (Just to be on the safe side though, proof-read your writing some time later – maybe a couple of hours at least – to be sure of the quality of your writing. And don’t share them with others until then unless you want to risk being ridiculed.) This post too has caught my attention with some of the idiotic mistakes. It is an issue that doesn’t just go away without training ourselves.
That’s it for now. I hope this first post helps to convince you that writing is a useful skill for all and that it requires practice. Read newspapers, novels or articles to develop your grammar and keep writing until you feel the quality is good enough – after all perfection is only an idea that we should always strive for – before sharing it with others. If treated with the attention it deserves, writing can become a great hobby and a way of developing great imagination. It also helps to rediscover yourself. So why not give writing a try?
Do comment on how you define ‘author’ and ‘writer’ and how you felt about this post. The writing guide begins with the next ‘writing tips’ post.


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