Words. It’s all about words. Often insignificant on their own, but when several of them are arranged in a row by a master of the craft, they can be extremely powerful. They can make us feel happy, sad, secure, existential, irrationally angry…
I’ve had a love affair with words for many years, mostly because I’ve absorbed the works of many such masters of the craft. Like any commoner in the shadows of the gentry, I’ve often wondered how it would feel to be one of them. How could one such as I ever hope to reach the heights of such genius?
The fear of failure is a powerful sedative for the creative mind. I have a good imagination, a wide vocabulary and a smattering of intellect, so this writing lark should be simple shouldn’t it? It turns out that there’s more to it than that. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes PRACTICE. Practice that I have, in the past, failed to invest in.
Practising your writing means you have to write. Anything. Just get the words down. The problem is that once you’ve written something, you will read it. When you read it you will recoil in horror because it will be terrible. You will then think of your literary heroes and remind yourself that you are not them, you will never be them and this is all a waste of time. It can be hard to suppress those feelings, particularly if you’re a perfectionist…
When I reflect on the great pieces of literature that I’ve read in the past I’ve previously only considered them through a reader’s eye. If the stories are so encapsulating to read, imagine how incredible they must have been to conceive! I love words and I love the possibilities that they can unlock. They are ours to play with, to mould, to sculpt and downright abuse!
Not writing for the fear of being inferior is a pretty self-destructive way of trying to feel superior. The more seeds I sow, the higher the probability that something will emerge. It may never happen, but one thing’s for sure: if I plant no seeds I’ll only ever have barren soil.
So I’m pledging to spend one hour a day writing: to create a writing habit. I’m going to enjoy the self-indulgence of letting my inner thoughts speak to me and do my best to instil them into something cohesive. If you’re willing, I’d like to share them with you as well.