Writing 101 for the aspiring writer in you!

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A lot is said about the life of a writer and a lot more is talked about the same. Pain and poetry goes hand in hand, a heartbreak accentuates the nuances of the words, allurement of a life lived differently, all are the tags that have to be carried by a writer. What is that makes a good writer? What is the criterion? Is there any except the one based on our very personal subjectivity or inclination towards a particular style? This article is a subtle attempt to answer some of these questions. We all have a story to tell but not all of us are writers, let us explore why.

“Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.”
― Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature

Some fall for the words and some fall for the meaning. But little does anyone remember the journey of the writer who weaves the words in to a story. Here is where the writer steps in. Many a times when we read, we sometimes find that the diction is forced or it gives sense to some kind of uncomfortable jargon. This is one common mistake that is bound to happen when we try to pen down a story. There is nothing wrong in using fancy dictionary but in the pursuit of making it pompous it can easily come across as pretentious. So, if you think you need ornamental diction to be a writer, you are wrong. What is important is accuracy of the words to draw a parallel to your thoughts. Once that is achieved, your work shall always come across as original and more personal.

Another problem that I have heard that people face is that of continuing with the work. Writers’ block is true and completely different from what I am going to discuss. Wordsworth defines poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity”, sounds honest, doesn’t it? So, yes writing is fueled by emotions and it is further accelerated by emotions felt at any odd hour.

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Despite all this, the problem arises when it comes to finishing your literary work. It is easy to get lost between the story and having too many open ends and then it seems impossible to culminate a piece. Not only in case of stories, this might also happen in poetry. Guess it can be thought that a writer usually has it all sorted in his/her head before beginning to work on a piece, which is another misconception. It takes a lot of time and a lot of homework before the final piece is ready. It is necessary to make notes, observe the aura of the words and make sense of it all at once.

A writer is nothing without a muse and to have a muse means to have faith that someone or something is way more than what it actually is. Sounds a little strange but hey since when did we dislike strange? Find what inspires those emotions in you and word them. What you need to admit is that there is no problem in being vulnerable.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost

This is something we learn with passage of time, but once you embrace the beautiful mess that are our thoughts, the vulnerability is worth the satisfaction.

Not being sure of what you want to convey? Had an idea a while ago but not sure what it was anymore? Keeping you away from telling something that is necessary to say? I completely feel you. So, what you need to do is stop procrastinating on your thoughts. Trust me, you will never regret anything that you woke up to write in the middle of the night. Nothing is better than an idea ignited by the spontaneity of an emotion.

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All you have to do is be ready to draft it at all times. I am not sure of how many times did I sit to write something an actually ended up finishing that piece. It never works in a planned fashion. Hence, no point of specially devoting time to writing, it shall happen on its own and when it happens this way, there is this satisfaction about the same giving the perfect sense of closure that you were seeking.

I hope this little article helped you to acknowledge, if not solve, some basic problems the aspiring writer in you must be facing. If none of them help then there is one final rescue- read. Read and read and read. There are so many things you can learn from a good book. The language, the alliterations, the diction, the little nuances of tenses and so much more. Writing is a gift for sure and it can only be polished by reading. There will always be someone who is going to better than you but there can be no one who will convey your thoughts in a better fashion than you. So, give your thoughts a little more thought and then watch them coming to life on a piece of paper.

-Armaan Sandhu

Edited by Mrinaal Datt

Read more about them here.

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