I don’t profess to be an accomplished writer, but I am an aspiring author with several novels in the process of completion. Yes, that’s right… not one complete one but several that need to be finished! My problem is that I love writing, I love the process of writing, yet I fall out of love with what I am writing and move on to the new idea for a plot that forms in my head and which I cannot ignore.
The art of writing is, for some, a natural gift but for others it is a craft that can be learnt but for all of us it is something that can be honed and perfected. The most important part of writing is, although this may sound inane, to write. How many of us think about writing but fail to commit to the discipline of writing on a regular basis? As novelist Kingsley Amis once said,
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s trousers to the seat of one’s chair.”
Don’t be intimidated by a blank page. The main thing is to get something down, the editing process comes later.
There are three crucial steps that should be a part of any writer’s routine:
• READING – reading books by established authors will help you to absorb the process of writing successfully
• LEARNING – take a creative writing course or look online for hints and tips
• WRITING – this may sound obvious, but you must write often and consistently
“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.
Those who do not do this remain amateurs.” – Gerald Brenan
If you have never shared your writing with others, now is the time. Becoming part of a writer’s group is a good way to fire up your motivation.
One good way to start writing your novel is to prepare an outline. Don’t worry; this doesn’t have to be strictly adhered to but it will give you a good base from which to work. Just get the basics down, these can be developed and built on later. You will probably find that your writing takes on a life of its own, taking you off into a direction not initially thought of.
Nobody said writing was easy. Take heed of these wise words from Ernest Hemingway:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”