Enjoy Your Writing

Writers often speak of Writer’s Block and allied obstacles to the entire process of writing. May be you aren’t able to make time for writing, may be you are not satisfied with your output, or may be you are not motivated to write as you once were. I decided to share my thoughts and those of others to budding and seasoned writers alike.

Sadly we are in the midst of the gloom of the Covid 19 Pandemic which is hitting us so badly all over the world. What can we do to write and make ourselves -and hopefully others around us who read our work- more happy?

I keep harping on the need for writers to never stop reading! You can read whatever interests you but do read. In the process, you pick up many tips, consciously or otherwise on what successful writers do in presenting their stories. There is so much to read out there that techniques of speed reading also help us in this world of information overkill. This article in Buffer.com tells you how to read more to write better.

If, like me, you enjoy reading short stories and would like to try writing one, please check out this article by Jerry Jenkins on How To Write A Short Story That Captivates Your Reader. I particularly liked the description of how Ernest Hemingway accepted the challenge to write a story in less than 10 words! He wrote: ” For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.“. How impactful and gut wrenching! But then Hemingway was a genius, wasn’t he?

Kurt Vonnegut has shared his tips to write a great short story. My favourite in his list: “Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action”. If it does neither, don’t use it. As simple as that!

For a more technical and comprehensive approach, do read: “Short Story Writing For Beginners: A Guide” by Writer and Freelancer, N A Turner. This is a good article which details the different elements involved in writing a short story. It highlights that writing is not only about sitting someplace and waiting for That Great Story Idea to hit you!

To conclude, listen to what one of my favourite writers, Stephen King said : “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut… If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

I hope this blog post kindles the interest in writing in you, or in some cases, re-kindles that dormant interest. Happy writing, and of course before that- happy reading!!

Manreet S. Someshwar’s latest. Also Writers on Writing.

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s latest novel, ” The Hunt for Kohinoor” (Westland, 2013) is slated to be released  in mid-December 2013. As is common these days, you can pre-order this at Flipkart.  This, if I am not mistaken, is a sequel to her earlier book, “The Taj Conspiracy” which was very interesting. I loved her first book, “The Long Walk Home,” which was set in the Punjab at the time of the Partition. My best wishes go out to Manreet. May ” The Hunt For Kohinoor” be a super hit!

Many people have the urge to write and write well. However, not everyone makes the grade. In this context, I liked this blog post by Maria Popova in Brainpickings called, “9 Books on Reading and Writing.” With gems from authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, this post points you to books that can transform your writing.

A few extracts:

  • Anne Lamott in ” Bird By Bird, A Few Instructions on Writing and Life,”

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

  • Stephen King in his classic,  “On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

  • Ernest Hemingway in ” Ernest Hemingway On Writing”

” The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

“The art and craft of writing”

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight.”  Did you like what you just read? I did, and how! Continue reading ““The art and craft of writing””