|Stay focussed! Photo by Janet Cameron with permission|
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
2 Top Qualities for More Exciting Writing
A writing student recently said, "Until you write about something, you can't find out what you know about it. I don't even know what I'm thinking sometimes, but I'm finding out by writing. I usually have some order in mind, but I never know what's going to happen."
How exciting is that?
How do you stay focused in the unpredictable world of writing?
This is the dilemma – that while needing to stay focused, many writers aren’t always clear about how things will pan out. This demands sincere self-belief and an intense single-mindedness specific to writers and journalists.
Some of us are natural night-owls, but for most of us it’s far more important to get a decent night’s sleep. Sometimes, though, writers do need to challenge convention if they are to reach their goals. It’s a matter of discovering what works for you. There have been periods in my life when I have worked through the night and not even noticed the time slipping by. This is not an option if you have a day job or children needing attention, of course, but I believe it's a good thing to work with your body clock, and,even more importantly, your instincts.
The poet, James Schuyler, once remarked that he liked being a poet because he could dash off a poem in the morning and have the rest of the day to himself! Of course, James Schuyler had an appealingly skewed wit but we all know it’s not as simple as that, not even for distinguished poets.
Acclaimed crime writer Colin Dexter likes to recount how he received a request from a writing group."We are looking for a minor celebrity to come and speak to us, but we’re having trouble finding someone and we thought of you."
Fortunately Mr. Dexter has an easygoing sense of mischief and tells the tale with a twinkle in his eyes.
I truly believe that staying focused while retaining a good sense of humour goes a long, long way for success and sanity.
(I also believe it's okay to split infinitives if it suits you, but that's another article.)