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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beginning the Writing Process

Beginning the Writing Process

There are few things as rewarding as writing. Why is this?

There’s something about putting an emotion or story down into permanence that is incredibly therapeutic and useful. This gives us the ability to examine our thoughts and words from more than just the immediate perspective. We can pick them up and read them at any point and reinterpret ourselves, and see ourselves the same way we can see and experience our favorite authors.

In this way, writing can teach us a lot about ourselves. Sometimes, however, we can have the desire to write, but have no idea what to do next! Getting started can be an incredibly frustrating experience without any clear direction. I have countless memories of sitting and staring at an empty piece of paper or computer screen, feeling this deep impulsive desire to scratch my thoughts (my priceless and universally important thoughts) onto paper to save them forever. But, in the process of trying to write down thoughts, all my thoughts were focused on trying to conjure up some thoughts.

Which is the worst thing you can do, because then all your thoughts become centered on your thoughts, which are about trying to have thoughts. So basically, you have no thoughts. Here are a few ideas for how to get started as a writer.

One popular thing you can do is take up journaling. This is definitely the easiest because it revolves around a skeleton of your schedule. From just listing facts, you have the ability to elaborate on whatever interested you the most. If you had a particularly interesting episode in your day, chronicle it. Talk about how it made you feel. Then think, “Why did this event make me feel this way?” Then write about that.

As you write about some of the events of the day that really impacted you, you may notice some patterns. What types of things really get you? Why? As you answer these questions, you may see that you have some pretty strong feelings about different things. These strong feelings probably stem from really strong values that you either consciously or unconsciously possess. If you can identify these values, then focus your energy there. Maybe there are some burning issues out there that involve a serious debate within the field of your particular interest. Write about your opinions on the issue.

If you have no problem identifying your passions, then start there. Ask your friends about what questions they have about the thing you’re passionate about. Start with just answering those questions. If your passions lend to more of a fictional expression, then consider which stories most captivate you. What do you think it is about those stories that makes them so appealing to you? What time periods interest you the most? Rewrite the basic plots of your favorite stories in your favorite time period, with your own characters and personal touches. Who knows, maybe this will progress into something unique that you would be proud of.

All in all, we need writing. It allows us to remember who we were yesterday, the day before, and 10 years ago. When we have direct access to our own thoughts outside of the context of now, we have the ability to see ourselves in a new light. The more we write, the more we can know ourselves because we have more evidence. At the heart of writing is a decision: you can only write about one thing at a time. What will it be? And what does that say about you?

~Author Bio: Ethan S. writes on behalf of Design55, a UK-based designer furniture shop, and have been an avid writer for more than half his life.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Hi, I’m Jamie – Director of Outreach at Scripted.com. Thank you so much for the tops. They were really helpful. For writers, we have a ton of paid work at the moment. For content buyers, we have flat-rate purchase options for blog posts, tweets, and other types of content! We hope you give our service a shot – You can reach me directly with any questions at jamie@scripted.com