We are all exposed to stories. There’s few lives they haven’t touched, though the most troubling of them are to be shaken off as a mere collection of words. Words aren’t considered with the same weight as actions. Words against us should be shrugged away as unlike sticks or stones, it’s suggested they can’t hurt us.
I love to talk about writing.
Specifically, talking about writing with people. The majority of what happens here is a broadcast sent out into the quiet places of the internet, but I want to engage with people, too. I don’t mean established writers, literary savants, or other wordsmiths. Well, not merely those people. I want to talk to you.
As a writer, it’s your job to be understood. At the outset you can point to the act of writing and say “No, that’s my job.”
That’s also true.
Hi all! Since there’s apparently over 300 of you now, I thought I better explain why I’ve been quiet this week. I’m at the Sydney Writers’ Festival!
Short one today. This seems to be the state of much advice, ie, that you must cover both points below…
For the first time in my writing life, in terms of what I’m writing, the possibility of greener pastures are unfathomable.
There’s no point arguing – you’re going to procrastinate. I know it. Your friends know it. Everyone knows it. Except… maybe you.
It’s okay to procrastinate.
It’s rare that I go into my personal life here, though I don’t think of myself as a closed book because of it. In person, I’m often very forthcoming with details nobody really needs or wants to know about, as they pertain to things that would ordinarily be deemed personal. The writing, both the act, the specifics and the tenacious aspirations that have always gone along with it for me? Those are rarely shared.
Writing is usually a solo affair. We know that. For some, it’s one of the draws, giving us an excuse not to socialise. Personally I tend toward the interactive side, particularly when it comes to writing. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I love to talk about writing, storytelling and general creativity. If I were trying to keep that a secret, this blog wouldn’t be here.
As writers, we tend to be somewhat imaginative. As well as living through them, we absorb the events and conversations in our lives, the various fictions we consume, and the general bits and pieces that make a life lived in. When there’s things we haven’t experienced ourselves, we extrapolate, finding a frame of reference we can relate to, or simply make it up.
When we tell stories, verbally, in writing, or through other mediums, we attempt to transport our audience to a place or time where our story could conceivably happen. We have the characters, events and plot points that are vital to telling the story, but in many ways, the setting of a story informs the tone of what’s to come.
The most important thing about your writing, is that it starts with a bang. The more explosions, the better. You need to grab your readers by the throat and shake them until they lose consciousness. Rouse them, and then SHAKE THEM SOME MORE. There is literally NO other way to grab and hold the attention of a reader short of being there beside them when they do and MAKING THEM READ IT.
Here’s my approach to giving advice on writing.
If I feel like I’ve done it, if I’ve read it, or otherwise confident I know enough about it, I’ll come to some conclusions on the matter and write about it here. Sometimes I know I want to write about a particular topic, but haven’t yet worked out my angle. Often it’s me swirling ideas around in my head, and seeing what tangible points come out.