Tools for the New Writer

“The incurable itch of writing possesses many.”
– Juvenal, Satire VII
You are one of those people, always busy, having little time to stand and stare. There is hardly any time to claim as your own. Yet, deep within you is an itch to write. You wish you could stretch the limits of time so that you could sort out your thoughts, decoct the ideas and finally put them down on paper.

You may even be diffident about getting down to the task, when you finally find time. You are nagged by doubts, unsure of yourself, can’t really settle down to make a beginning.

But the itch knows no such reasoning. It refuses to go away, just because you are not able to make up your mind. How would you still this itch?

Try to write something
Take the tip from the well-known American writer William Faulkner who said, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”

The passion for the thing is what matters. You may ask when is the time to think, let alone write. Well, you really don’t have to keep a specified time for creative writing. You are driving to work, jogging in the morning, munching your lunch or enjoying your dinner–these are all occasions for creative thinking.

Think that is sheer balderdash? Then read on.

Did you know?
Agatha Christie, the famous writer of detective stories found that the best times for planning a book was while doing the dishes.

Virginia Woolf, the well-known British writer was known to have done most of the planning of her writings during bubble baths.

Getting ideas
Virginia Woolf got ideas about writing during bubble baths.

Where do you seek ideas? How about developing the art of listening? Why not sharpen your ears?

Then you get lot of ideas for creative work. You also gain an insight into the style of speaking of people.

Each one has some pet words; or expressions that comes to him readily. In Hindi, this is known as takkia kalaam.

That is what brings individuality to one’s conversation. Conversations are the seeds of creative writing. Take part in conversations- who knows you may end up with a good story idea or create a character out of the person with whom you are conversing.

Airports, railway stations and bus stands are also fertile sources of story ideas and anecdotes. An eagle’s eye would help you get ‘n’ number of stories from your daily activities.

Imagine you collide with a funny looking man in a market. He snubs you. Never mind, your next story is round the corner!

When you get an idea?
Record the idea the moment it strikes you. For ideas evaporate quickly. Don’t worry about organising it. You can do that later. Always carry a small pocket diary or a sheet of paper and a pen or a pencil. Something to write with. Get the ideas onto paper. You will then have the basic material required to write.

The secret of good writing
The more you write, the better you get at it.
So long, bye. Best of luck and happy writing.

This article was first published in Meghdutam.com (between 1999 to 2003).

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