I first posted this in November 2014, on Ramblings from a Writers Mind my blog where I Write about Writing for Writers.
I am now including it here, on Electric Eclectic’s blog, as I think it is relevent for those of you who have not, as yet, attempted to write their story
Once again I sit here with a vague idea running through my mind, yet I have an uncertainty of how I am going to transfer my thoughts onto the page.
I do not view this predicament as a problem because this is one of my Ramblings and, the whole point of writing a Rambling, is I take a loose concept and start writing without any structured plan.
On good days the whole thing sort of stitches itself into a passable tapestry of cohesive substance.
I hope today is a good day.
Although, I have often heard people say ‘I could write a book about.. this or that’, or ‘that would make a fantastic story’, I rarely, if ever, find any of the people expressing such actually write a darned thing, about anything, ever.
It is all too easy to say such and such would make an interesting story, but far, far harder to write it; I am not speaking of the technical aspects of creative prose, simply the act of putting pen to paper and jotting out more than a few paragraphs.
One of the most difficult things to do is to start writing a story, your story.
I have known people who have journals, diaries and vast libraries of notes, all ready to start writing their story. Ten years later those notes have vanished, the diaries are collecting dust in the loft and the journals long forgotten.
But none of that matters, they say, because… ‘it’s all here in my head’, ‘it’s my life story, so I know it anyway’, or ‘I plan on starting it after…’
I have heard it all.
Once upon a time, I used the same lame excuses to procrastinate about writing the stuff I had bobbling around in my own head. Now, if I go a day without writing at least a few paragraphs, a short story, a poem or one of these Ramblings, I get tetchy and irritable.
Honestly, I suffer withdrawal symptoms.
It is my love of writing and, by ‘writing’, I mean actually transcribing words onto paper, (or in this modern world, onto a computer screen); the more I write, the more I need to write. The more I write, the more I learn about writing, about words, syntax and grammar.
But most of all, I learn about the pliability of words, how they can be moulded and shaped, crafted as a glassblower would fashion his works from a semi-molten liquid into goblets and vases. It is akin to a cabinet maker taking great lumps of raw wood and, carefully whittling and chiselling away until an intricately polished dresser stands proudly displayed.
Words can be shaped and formed in a million and more ways, they are the basic raw materials of a writer’s art, the fundamental building blocks for wordsmiths, the elemental ingredient of the author’s labour.
What is more, these words are free. They cost nothing and are readily available to everyone, including you.
So why not take advantage of this?
Now is the time to clamber into the loft and bring those diaries into the daylight, time to dust off your old journals and to recall your history. Now is the time to sharpen your quill, your pencil, or charge up that laptop and start to write the story you have within yourself.
I shall leave you with this wonderful quotation from ‘I know why the Caged Bird Sings,’ by Maya Angelou,
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
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