Just in case you’re panicking, let me assuage your fears right away: No, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to play chess or knit. In fact, when it comes to knitting, to me it appears as something only slightly less complicated than quantum mechanics.
The crux of the matter—and the reason this post is important to any writer looking to improve their craft—is how a seemingly irrelevant activity or hobby can help you with your writing.
In my case, that unexpected source was chess. For someone else, it might be knitting, gardening, playing guitar, or crafting origami.
As I have mentioned in the past about sensory writing exercises, before an author writes about anything at all, they first need to experience the world around them.Continue reading
Any piece of text—be it a novel, a blog post, or a personal essay—is essentially an abstract link connecting a writer (or several of them) with an audience.
Unless the work in question is a highly unique piece of writing, such as an “eyes-only” report meant only for the CEO of a company, the audience is ideally expected to be as large as possible. Who would write the next “great American novel” wanting it to be read by a few hundred people, right?
Even on a more modest scale, blog writers understandably expect their texts to be read by as many people as possible. The same is true also for op-eds or, say, fashion articles.
But are all texts written for everyone?
The answer must be “no.” Whereas a writer of contemporary fiction or a current-affairs journalist probably writes having a fairly general audience in mind, reality is different for many other authors.Continue reading
Keeping a diary is an activity cherished by many authors. It has helped them express their feelings as well as exercise their writing memory by recalling experiences.
Developing a good writing memory—that is, an ability to remember events and experiences from a storytelling perspective—is essential for authors. It allows them to be productive and effective in expressing thoughts, feelings, and opinions, which is the cornerstone of good writing.
A tongue-in-cheek quote, attributed to various authors, is: “I hate writing, and I hate not writing. I only like having written.” This is a statement many authors would relate to, and perhaps this is one reason why it’s hard to pinpoint the writer who originally voiced these wise words.
I’m a writer, and I can certainly relate to this quote. However, I’m also a freelance editor, and I believe that when a writer says “I hate writing,” what they really mean is “I hate editing.”