Writers in our Midst
There is a vast army of creative writers in our midst, people who have the urge to write, to share their story or to invent new ones. To support their desire to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) they register for a vast array of writing programmes, sign up to classes, join Creative Writing Groups, submit to writing competitions and generally submerge themselves in the creative arts, all in the hope of joining the Best Sellers that adorn the shelves in Libraries and Bookshops or maybe to just see their name in print. Most won’t reach the dizzy heights of A list authors but will thoroughly enjoy trying – and on the journey will meet a community of likeminded folk who understand, support and egg each other on. Anyone reading this who knows me will have gathered that I am one of the hordes! Being a prolific reader myself I am regularly inspired to write pieces of my own, striving to learn more about the craft in a variety of ways – including reading anything and everything on the subject to glean information and tips – mostly by successful authors who I reckon know a bit about the subject!
I regularly download the Writing Magazine which is available through the library Libby app and can thoroughly recommend books on writing by authors such as Joanne Harris, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Kate Grenville and Graeme Simsion. Being successful authors in their own right adds a certain authenticity to their advice in my opinion.
One of the most interesting and different books on writing is by Man Booker Prize winner George Saunders called A Swim in a Pond in the Rain – this features short stories by four Russian authors (Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol) which George Saunders then examines in depth to analyse their structure, characterisation, language etc. A very enlightening read indeed!
Kate Grenville, the award winning Australian author wrote The Writing Book with lots of great advice, tips and some alternative prompts for the reader to use to inspire creativity.
Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat and numerous other popular titles) has written a book called Ten Things About Writing, where she shares collections of lists offering advice, wisdom and insider insight into the murky world of the publishing industry. This is as entertaining as it is informative and a definite must-read for any wannabe writer! It is available on Libby as a free downloadable audiobook.
The best bit of advice I ever got about writing was to lift a pen and just start – no matter how much nonsense you spew out initially, your brain will eventually catch up with your hand and you could end up with the masterpiece you always dreamed of. It’s much easier to edit words on a page than to sit and stare at a blank one!
But first and foremost the best advice is to KEEP READING, and read widely - then write what you would want to read.
And, of course, enjoy the journey! 😊