Monday, 22 April 2013

Write what you know ...

I struggle often with balance. Okay there I said it out loud, I admit it. Not that kind of stand on your tip toes, close your eyes and don’t fall over balance, but worse the kind where life gets in the way of what you know you should be doing. I should be writing. You know that feeling when tomorrow is going to be so great that you are too excited to sleep? Sometimes, some nights, that is how my own writing-imagination can keep me awake. My writer-self is too excited to sleep. The words that want out will not let me rest because that day has brought me so many great ideas to write about.
It is that passion that becomes a drive so forceful that it can get in the way of actually sitting down and writing. Harnessing that almost superpower to create and balancing the desire-to-write and the reality of finding a creative time and place can be as hard as learning to physically juggle. It takes practice. A juggler will tell you to just pick up any object and start – juggle your morning orange and apples, juggle your pencils, juggle the dog biscuits and your hair brushes, just do it.
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The same has come to be true for me and words. I juggle a paid assignment, a magazine feature, blogging, copyright work, non-fiction book projects, fiction novels to short stories, poetry and the business writing side of researching and marketing all those avenues of revenue streams and creative outlets of a writing life. The subject matter in my writing projects and assignments covers a huge spectrum and I am often asked how do you decide what to write about? I usually jokingly quip that

stories find me but in actuality there is a lot of truth to that.
I truly believe that nurturing your will to write will be fed by what life brings you to write about. Jung aptly described it, as “That which is most personal is most common”.  Write what you know, write what is in your life and you will feed your passion for words with your life experiences. When I find I am struggling with writing it is often because I am not personally balancing who I am with what I do.
One of the best reads on writing I continue to enjoy over and over, is Stephen King’s bestseller, On Writing. King sets out to describe the ups and downs of the writing life by simply telling us not how he writes but rather how he lives and in those simplistic insights in some round-about way he offers endless valuable lessons on how to write. King unknowingly backs up my belief that there is some positive harmony in life and writing. A hundred pages into the book he speaks of his office space, his own desk, about the job and what he came to know:

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room.  Life isn’t a support system for art.  It’s the other way around.”   Stephen King

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