Being a good writer is not something people tell you you are, it’s the feeling you get while you read your work yourself. Sometimes, when we look at our work, we move our head sideways or are in doubt over the climax of the work or simply, we just squeeze our draft and throw it into the bin. We all love to write better, to express ourselves in the most simple and clear way we can and to engage our readers in the world we have created in our works. We fail atimes. We fail many a time. We fail to write good works because of the silly mistakes we have decided to leave behind. The fact that we are writers doesn’t mean we should open up new worlds for our readers and leave them desolate in a scary place to find their way.
To write better takes more than talent or skill. It’s something you develop within you.
“If you wish to be a writer, write and if you wish to be a good writer, write everyday” says Epictetus.
Writing is a skill developed overtime. You can’t wake up and just become a writer – a good writer. You have to practice, to write and write every idea that comes to your head. A good writer doesn’t stare, he observes. He observes the movement of people and animals and things, their wants, emotions, temperaments and the unique differences they possess. Then, he puts them down for the world to read. A good writer doesn’t wait for the right time to write. He utilizes every opportunity and writes the stories he wishes to write.
To become a good writer, one must love the art of writing. He must long to write the silence at the graveyard, the courage a valiant Knight or the desires that hurt most.
To write better is to read good books from good authors. Cultivating the habit of reading is a stepstone to becoming a good writer. Read magazines, newspapers, Pamphlets, novel, posters, and labels on your moisturizers. They all matter. You just don’t know where and idea may come from. Reading about things that make you uncomfortable may one day stir your imagination. As a writer, one ought to read wide, various collections of proses, of poems and drama and insightful quotes of great spiritual leaders and people.
Never struggle to finish a book. It would take time of course, but skipping of a page or two would keep you at sea when a twist appears. Never read for pleasure of reading. Read to be informed. Read about how cucumbers clear dark circles and write a story about it. An excellent one.
Writers are underlings of inspiration. When we do not have any idea to put down, when creativity mocks us, we become still and weak and then we refer to it as “writers block”.
When I began to write as at the age of twelve, my first drafts were always miserable and at some point, I get stuck about the whole idea of my story or where my story is heading to. I never knew about writers block. I just stand, stretch myself and go for a work in the woods, relieving myself of all thoughts of my story. Sometimes, I get inspired from singing birds or jumping squirrels or the sounds of my feet made while I walk. But I always, somehow, manage to bypass the blocks and continue my story with a fresh spirit. Years later, I discovered it was my secret ritual to escape writers block.
You can find yours. Never give up on your story because you feel your characters are not real or because you are stuck in the middle of letting your protagonist live or die. Many writers do that and they lose great stories that could change lives and inspire the world. Inspiration can come from anything. Just give it time and ideas (Silly and impressive) would pop out of nowhere.
Bold writers are good writers. They don’t know words like “fear” or “timidity”. They write their stories with the truest words and sentences they can. They write because they know they have to write.
To be a good writer, one must carve the stories he truly wants to tell. He must not write out of fear, timidity or to evade blame. The truer your words are, the better your stories become. Writing flows from the soul but when timidity acts as a resistance by obstructing the free glow of your stories from your soul, it becomes still born and your readers tend to drop your book at the first attempt to complete the first paragraph.
“Our job is to write and only to write” says Anton Chekhov. With that in mind, why do you tremble at the fact that people would criticize your work? Of course they would but that should never dissuade you from writing your words, your true words. People always criticize – the way you walk, the way you speak, your perceptive of things, even still, your choice of hats. You have written a work for the public to read, never care about their criticisms (good or bad), just find solace in the fact that you have written what you have always wanted to write – your truest words.
A man walked into a bar one hot afternoon. A man in his early sixties. He wore a bright yellow sneakers, denim trousers, a pink shirt and a yellow hat to compliment his shoes. He moved with an awkward demeanor, heads turned, mouths agape. Some muttered, others giggled. All these happened because someone fleed the stereotype, because someone decided to be original, to be classy even in his old age.
You can be like him. You can make people stare, applaud, commend, praise or more still, long to meet you for your autograph if you can quit following the crowd. Writing does not necessarily mean you have to write like other writers do. Great writers know the rules, they break them so masterly that you cannot find faults with them, then they set new rules. They write original stories that question story felling in view of true story writing.
Alice Munro did that, JK Rowling did that, so why can’t you? Remember, be free to write silly things, emotional stories and stories that seem a mirage to the human eye.
Be original and just write!