Kick start your writing was the informal title of the session I facilitated a at the lovely Peter Cowan Writers Centre yesterday. The formal title was ‘Getting started as a writer.’ But the informal name is much more fun. Twelve people of varying skills-levels participated.
Here are the notes from Kick Start Your Writing
Human beings are meant to be creative. We are meant to make things. Children are very good at making things, at creating. They are unselfconscious, free with what they do. Sadly, because we must all fit into the world we are born into, we must also conform. Parents start the process. What happens when kids go to school? They learn to do things the ‘proper’ way. They learn it is not OK to be too different.
Somehow, in the process of socialisation, our ability to express ourselves is dampened or lost. We begin to think we can’t draw and paint, or we can’t sing. Some of us believe we can’t write. People who have been to school and do not have a disability can write. We need to learn how to unlock that ability. Every writer has their own way of writing, but all of us had to learn some skills.
Kick-start your writing skills with the help of some of these suggestions:
Anyone who wants to live a creative life can benefit from these tips. They are particularly important for newly emerging writers who want to kick start their writing.
Read: If we want to write, we must first read, every day if possible. That’s how we find out how other people write. We also learn new ways of saying what we want to say. Read novels and memoirs; history and biography; mysteries and romance. Poetry. How-to books. Just read!
Walk: Walking is the most amazing activity! Regular walking for half-an-hour five days a week has enormous physical benefits. It can also help to alleviate depression and improve mental health. Most importantly, from a writer’s point of view, walking stimulates creativity. Something about the rhythm of walking sets our minds free to think new thoughts.
Play: It is too easy to take ourselves seriously. Einstein says, ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’. If we have forgotten how to play, we need to practice. Make time and space in life for fun. Play with a child, a lover or friends. Play with a dog. Take yourself out regularly tor some fun time. Travel. At home, go to new places, see new things.
Make notes: When we are involved in creative ventures of any kind (writing, painting, dance, gardening, and cooking come to mind) we begin to have ideas in the most surprising way. The ideas don’t stay around for long. We need to capture them. Writers make notes. They carry notebooks and have they by their beds.
Create: Have several creative projects under way at the same time. This way each project feeds off the other. They enrich each other. It is even better if the projects are different. Include writing, pastel painting, gardening, woodwork, knitting, needlework, or quilt making. The list is endless.
Write: We need to get our stories down, however roughly. Then we can edit and rewrite them. It’s impossible to edit a blank page! Remember to write down, not think up ideas!
ENJOY THE PROCESS!
Part 2 of Kick start your writing will follow soon.
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