writing, Writing practise

Live To Write

There are many reasons that people write. They write for fun, for communication, for personal expression, for money. These are all perfectly fine reasons for writing, but why not write for a purpose? Rather than writing to live, why not write to life?

“Talent is long patience.”  Gustave Flaubert

How Do I Become A Writer?

It took a long time for me to realise that you do not have to be a writer to be a writer. I spent so much time dreaming of becoming a writer, I missed the fact that I had been for years. All those essays and assignments back in school. The letters to far-off relatives thanking them for the dollar note in a birthday card, the diaries I hid – or so I thought – in the roof space. This had all been writing.

There are no letters after my name, any fancy degrees or diplomas hanging on my wall. I dropped out of school by the end of Year 10. Now I am a published writer and former radio broadcaster.

My point is that you do not need to be a genius with a Masters in six languages to be a writer. What you do need is your own life experience, some imagination, and an urge to share the two with complete strangers.

“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”  Erica Jong

What Should I Write?

In my experience, new writers ask this question more often than not. I certainly did! Early on, I tried writing the kind of fiction that I enjoyed reading. Naturally, it did not work.

Why? Because what I enjoyed reading was already in print. Only one person can write They Do It with Mirrors or Encyclopaedia Brown, Boy Detective.

They say you should write what you know. I would love to know exactly who they are. They are right, of course. This is something else that took me some time to realise. The slap in the face with a wet fish that got me on track was the loss of a young relative.

For my own therapeutic benefit, I sat down and wrote a short story based on our last outing together. After a lot of badgering, I showed the piece to a teacher friend and a family member.  Encouraged by their genuine appreciation of my work, I decided that my fiction would be inspired my own life.

Since making that change, I feel happier and more comfortable with my writing. Feedback from my readers, family, and friends, has been more positive. Not to mention the fact that my output has increased.

 “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach

When Should I Write?

There is no one size fits all answer to this. Some writers believe that you should write at the same time every day.

An advocate of this, Lewis Sinclair, said “… the art of writing is the art of applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.

Then, there are those that will tell you that you should wait for inspiration to find you. That trying to force a piece into existence can never work. Speaking for myself, I find that a blend of the two methods works.

Every morning, I come out to my study and fire up my computer. Some days that is as far as my writing goes. If I am hit by a bolt of inspiration, then that is even better.

Regardless of whether I get one thousand words out a day or one, the effort the thing that counts.

Remember; do not write to live – live to write.

Copyright ⓒ 2017 Bronwyn Joy Hansen. All Rights Reserved.

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