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.

The lovely Peter Cowan Writers Centre
The lovely Peter Cowan Writers Centre

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.

Participants at Kick start your writing session
Participants at Kick start your writing session

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.

More participants at the session
More participants at the session

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!


Part 2 of Kick start your writing will follow soon.

Of course I’d love you to comment on this page and follow my blog.

4 replies on “Kick start your writing Part 1”

  1. Wow !
    Thats one way to start !
    Iam a 80year old *migrant from Kenya ,East Africa *,who loves writing poetry and in fact wrote my autobiography (which is still being edited ) ,but I tried my hand at a Petr Cowan Short Story Competition . This I did ,by extracting a period in my life (which was traumatic and I expanded upon it ) I am eagerly awaiting to hear from PC ,as to whether I have the gift to write more !!
    Well done you wonderful people at Peter Cowan —your blood is worth bottling —
    as never did I realize you cater for so many wonderful *attributes that make one —
    unleash the hidden potential that lies within one !!!!!!*
    In time I can see that Peter Cowan’s guardian angels will really be opening new areas within me ,and in so doing trust and pray that it will be beneficial to us both

    My final thanks to you Maureen for thinking of me ,and sending the email

    With a *Hip HIP HOORAH !!! (A different way to end –isn’t it !!! )
    James Watson

    1. Hello, James. Thank you for your very encouraging comments about my blog post. I’m glad you found it helpful. I’m sure the Peter Cowan Writers Centre will be very helpful to you on your writing journey. It would be good if you could attend some of their courses or even odd sessions. As you may already know, I didn’t publish my first book until I was seventy, so it is never to late to start to write. I wish you the very best with your autobiography. I must confess, though, I didn’t personally send the email. It was sent from the Centre this morning. Good luck with your writing journey.

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