1) Writing is an art. Although many writers will pay the bills with technical writing or designing social media posts, they are still artists. Art is about experiences, emotions, forms, and substance. Many people can write a grammatically correct sentence. But the writer will know that sometimes you start a sentence with a conjunction such as “but” because it sounds better. (See what I did there?)
The writer will spend hours agonizing over one line of dialogue or tearing through a thesaurus not looking for a word, but the right word. (See more about that here.) A true writer seeks the right adjectives to convey the reader’s or character’s feelings, and will make the reader feel exactly what emotions they are trying to share. Through painstaking nit-picking diction, that writer will show, not tell the raw human experience. (Remember, the Rules of Writing are Nothing Like the Rules of Real Life.) Great art takes time and practice to produce and writing is no exception.
2) One of the great writing adages is “write what you know.” We’ve all heard it, however, that doesn’t mean the writer can’t expand the breadth of what you know and care about. Brush up on your history for inspiration. Read the science and technology section of a newspaper to gain ideas of what the future can hold. Go to a place you’ve never been before– or even more daring– talk to a stranger. Travel. Learn to dance. Weed plants out of the garden. Want your writing to be a pleasure to read? Create a piece that you loved to write.
3) The only writer you need to be is yourself. Write with your own voice. While it’s fun to try on the voices of authors we love, and different purposes have different modes, if the words on the page are not your own, then your voice is not being heard. Why would you leave your voice out of the important writing conversation? You are an important member of the banquet.
There is no correct way, no perfect way to write, to convey an idea, to express yourself. Some writers don’t use standard punctuation marks, some write in regional vernacular, some never use contractions. How you write is up to you. And how do you find your own writer’s’ voice?
You won’t know until you write.
There are many rules and tips about writing, but it’s crucial to remember some of the basics: writing is art, write what you know but learn what you can, and the only writer you can be is yourself. We’d love to have you join us for one of the upcoming writing groups or classes. I also have a few one-on-one slots opening in 2016, and I’d love to talk to you to see if we’re a good fit. What are you writing? I’d love to hear about it here.
All of the best & until next time, happy writing.
Copyright Annalisa Parent 2015