NEW WRITERS: COME FORWARD
According to the Independent, we spend an average of 24 days a year procrastinating. Given that it seems we live to procrastinate, I think it’s about time we change our attitude. Get off the sofa and write. Or, perhaps we don’t have to get off the sofa at all. Maybe all we need is a pen and some paper (or a tablet, laptop, phone). How about making 2017 the year we stop procrastinating? The year for new ideas and creative visions? The year for writing?
Firstly, have you got an idea for a story but haven’t had the chance to express it in writing? Are you unsure on where to begin? How much time do you spend thinking of a crucial plot twist or dramatic ending? Don’t be afraid to get your work out there – after all, you may be the best seller we’re looking for! At Mardibooks, we say you’ve been procrastinating for far too long, and we would love to read your story.
10 tips on how to start writing:
- Think of a classic story and turn it into something quirky
‘Cinderella suffered a breakdown after discovering that Prince Charming was only after the glass slippers all along. Once he realised their value, he could no longer reign in his footwear fetish.’
Thinking of a different ending to a particularly well-known story can help fire the imagination into action, consequently sparking unstoppable ideas with all sorts of engaging elements.
- Speak your story
Since when can’t stories be spoken aloud and written down? With this in mind, record yourself telling your story, make it up as you’re cooking the dinner, doing the ironing, driving through town. Talking to yourself isn’t a sign of madness, it’s a sign of creating something special.
- Think of an object
Think of an object, any object. Maybe that old vase Aunt Maggie gave you last Christmas. Now describe it. The shape of it, the feel of it, the colour, the sentiments it brings, the fragility, the focus it draws. Think about WHAT you’re writing and the words you’ve chosen to describe that object. It’s all about expression.
- Take time out, relax
Wait for the kids to go to bed. Have a bath. Settle on the sofa, in your study or in bed with a cup of tea. Put your favourite slippers on. Switch off everything. This is your time now – your ‘thinking time’. This is when it’s just you and your story. Once you begin writing, there is no greater feeling. What is more, time stops and you begin to unwind.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
You’ve been invited to a party where you don’t know anyone. You’re nervous and impatient to leave. This is the wrong attitude for a writer to have. Look at all these people with stories waiting to be told! Rather than holding back, get people talking by asking them questions – ideas will soon start flowing. The world is full of interesting people with amazing stories. Hence, be patient and listen.
Some people say that the best way to start writing is to read. Therefore, read a chapter of something new; have a glance at the newspaper; dig out that out that trashy magazine. Read anything to keep the brain active and to release those ideas. Besides, it only takes a few sentences to feel inspired.
Think of some old memories and start writing them down. Remember that family holiday to Croatia? Your first tooth falling out? Even memories can become stories. Once you have words written on a piece of paper, it’ll be easier to make something of them.
- Plan in advance
Distractions are fatal and cause more procrastination. Due to these, I would advise you to plan ahead. Create a schedule of when you’ll be free to write and keep a note of it in your phone or calendar. Organising your writing time will prove especially valuable.
- Create a list
If you’re someone who seems like they never have the time to do anything and is constantly on the go, then create a list of everything you need to do. When it comes to writing, lists are essential. Make sure that writing (even just a few sentences) is included as one of your chores to tick off on that to-do list.
Finally, set yourself a task of writing at least 10 minutes every day. Indeed, you’ll start to feel less guilty and more positive providing that you stick to your schedule. Try to write regularly throughout the week and keep your story at the forefront of your mind.