I took the time these days and talked to beautiful people about their interest for writing.There are 3 observations that I jotted down on my notebook which apparently stand between the desire to become an author and actually be one.
1. School trauma
For a striking majority of the people I have chatted with, the main stop on the path of writing is overcoming the trauma of being judged for the pieces that they had written in school that goes hand in hand with the fear of failure of meeting people expectations.Though those experiences might be situated 20 years back in time they have left a trace in peoples’ lives by making them reluctant to share any form of creative expression in writing, other than wore reports, to-do lists, highlights and reminders, or journal pages destined to be kept secret from curious eyes.While being fully aware of the extent of the long lasting effects of those episodes when you were shouted at for your spelling mistakes, or have been hit over your fingers with the ruler for not writing decently, thus being punished for any slip from under the control of a dictatorial teacher, I would like to remind you that you are no longer a defenseless child. You’ve never been one. You’ve always been more aware of what wasplaying in the ‘authority figure’ that eyes could see, than words could tell. What if you no longer gave the power to your past and reclaimed the playfulness of you writing just for the sake of it. Like a child would do? Add some drawings to your lines, pour some color, scrapbook your piece so that it takes you back to the moment before the drama existed and you revive the curiosity and sparkles of the good story you always wanted to write.
2. “It’s serious stuff…”
Unless you’re willing to make it serious and heavy and pregnant with significance, your writing can be as easy as writing a letter to yourself, depicting your days, your adventures, your awareness, your transformations from moment to moment. When you want to “make it serious”, you’re going to constantly look back at those pages and condemn them before you reach the last line. Rest reassured, they will not be perfect, but there is perfection in all of them. And by the way, do you like to read ‘serious’ stuff? Or have you already decided people have to ‘learn’ something from your writing? What if writing a book can be as simple as knitting a pull-over? it takes a bit of practice but if you’re already into ‘threads’ all you have to be is bring them together. Like patches of color in a quilt, your stories become the sparkles that shine bright in your life and lighten up those corners of your existence where’s too much serious and too little play. What if you wrote with the pleasure of reading an exquisite piece?
3. “I don’t know where to start.”
Well, where would you start if you were curious about anything else? Let’s see… pretend you are a total beginner at painting (I am practicing myself right now). You’ll look for a canvas, you’ll have an idea of a color or two. You’ll have an energy present with the creation. You’ll ‘ruin’ a few attempts, yet nothing is ruines. With every stroke of a brush you uncover a hidden gem in yourself. With every word on the paper you invite the apetite for more. Or maybe you are a beginner at knitting: knowing that there are different ways of knitting, with different types of needles is already a huge step forward. You might “stumble” on your first knitting experience. Unless you are some kind of a weirdo like me, you’ll not start with oil painting of knitting an intricare Swedish pattern at your first attempt. You’ll allow yourself to discover, explore and see for yourself which technique, method, subject is speaking you the most. There’s a build up that creates momentum. One idea grows into one line. One line becomes a paragraph. It takes 700 words to cover a page (typed), 40 knots to start a shawl, one color and a surface to start your painting.And if you were really willing to take the ‘pain’ out of the painting, I wonder, how much more fun would you be having with ‘depainting’ in writing?
DID YOU KNOW? A hook is what catches a reader’s attention when they consider reading a book. It’s what tells the whole story of a book in one line. It presents the reader with an angle and the promise on the pages, but what it does to you, the writer… it brings clarity on what your are truly willing to write about.