Hop on with a tea/coffee and a little thought-chat with the text below.
Being a writer is great… It’s an art of putting your thoughts and imagination onto paper. Of course, you already know that. As easy as it may seem, being a professional at writing and inculcating a constant drive to keep writing takes away much of this ‘ease’ factor. Writers do go through their own struggles and problems, but let’s keep that for some other time. And, some nice tips and tricks through this tête-à-tête might, anyway, assist you to maintain that drive and help you reach new heights without falling into some of those quarries.
When I tell someone, ‘I’m a writer’ invariably I get a response, ‘Oh, wow! So working from home now? It must be great - working when you want, as much as you want!’ etc. What a laid-back picture of a writer’s life, I wonder. Being a writer, am sure you can relate, the truth is far away from any of the above (at least for me it is). And first and foremost, to keep going – these are the very things a writer must stay away from!
Of course, being able to work from home, especially when living with a family, is a boon at times and is certainly okay if you have a dedicated place at home for work, but just ‘staying’ at home all the time is not where you should be headed to, as a writer.
Writing comes through thoughts, imagination, experiences, opinions, attitudes and all those nouns.
You may not get all these by staying in bed all day. So ‘get out and get going’, would be the first tip! If you are social, visit places, meet people with different tastes, it definitely enhances all the above. But really, you don’t need to be social to go out. You can very well do that all by yourself too. How about writing while sitting by the lake, under a tree, in a coffee shop, visiting a place, even a mall and just observing the surroundings, the people, the nature etc. You can very well go on trips. Every such thing aids writing in one way or the other. So, travel! Not only you’d have lots to tell, but different cultures, different people, different places tell their own stories, you never know which one becomes your tale of fame.
You might say isn’t ‘reading a lot’ the first tip, as everyone says? Indeed, reading is not only important, but a wonderful thing to do. Any tips which keep you going as a writer, are good! So yes, definitely, lots of reading will help. In fact, it’s like food for thought. As you go to a restaurant and like to try various cuisines every now and then, that’s how you could go about with reading. Read things of various genres. Even if you wish to stick to writing a particular genre, bringing other ideas from other categories might give you that edge, that difference, which you may be looking for. Each writer has a uniqueness, and if not already found, you could get it from mixing things up! So, like everyone else I’ll also re-iterate ‘read a lot’, you won’t be wasting your time, in fact, that’s part of your work!
As they say, to get different results, you need to do different things, and believe me – As irrelevant it may seem here, it goes a long way for writing. The best part of being a writer is, almost anything you do or enjoy can be part of your work, i.e. writing. Ideas and content can come to you from just anywhere. They could come through meeting someone, visiting a place, travelling in a long train journey or a voyage on a ship, bird watching, or even a dream while sleeping. If you look at it this way, almost anything visible or invisible could be life changing. So ‘be open, be receptive, be aware’ of everything. When I say open, it means open to surroundings, people, ideas, things, etc. everything, and not that you have to go to people and open up your life in front of them (although, that too, is up to you).
Since childhood, most of us have been taught to stay away from the idiot box, if we want to be successful, “That’s where you’ve been wasting all your time! Shut it down, turn it off, leave it” It could be true for most people, but not for all writers, who take it as a source of visual reading! There is so much to gain from it. ‘Watch all you want, don’t dismiss your TV’! All your favourite shows, movies, documentaries, knowledge channels, cartoons, anything, watch them. Caution: It’s a good side dish, as long as it doesn’t come in the way of your main course, i.e. writing. It could act as an appetizer, but if taken in large quantities, it could finish your appetite and leave you with a bad taste or guilt of wasting all your time. So if you are going to use it, do so with caution. Possible side effects: Time waste, loss of creativity and imagination
‘Write’ There is no easy or different way to put it. You keep getting better with every word you write. So write as much as you can. Even if you don’t have any ideas, you don’t stop. It’s not important that you would be always writing for your book, it could be anything like a description of something you saw, or a place you visited, etc. Your day should not go without writing, and ideally you should have a target number of words you want to write in a day. How do you get numbers? Stephen King writes about 1500 to 2000 words a day. Don’t aim for that on day one, but you want to be great, and that’s the path you need to tread. There is no better way to become a writer, than to write!
From the Editor's desk