Theo Coggin

A blog on communications

Scream! Yell! Cry! But write!

Many people throw their arms up in dismay when one suggests to them that they write. Their objections flow thick and fast but it normally boils down to the fact that they can’t get started (see my earlier blog on writers block) or that they just find it too difficult.

Good writing probably comes naturally only to the most gifted. A JK Rowling, Harry Potter’s creator or, in a different era, William Shakespeare, are cases in point.

For most people, however, writing requires discipline and application.

What I mean by discipline is that one needs to be committed to writing. Application means that you have to start to write, tear up your writing, throw your hands in the air or put your head in them in despair – but continue to write.

When asked recently what she found most difficult about writing these days, one of my best students curtly told me “nothing!”

Of course I was pleased, but why I wondered was this the case? This was a person with a fertile and creative mind who nevertheless, in the early stages of her writing career, found it most difficult to put pen to paper and produce something worthwhile.

Her growth as a writer over the eight or nine years that I have known her has been exponential. The reason for this is simply that she has persisted with her writing, improved her general knowledge, and worked on understanding the culture of writing during this time.

Therein lie the secrets:

  1. Practice, practice, practice, even when you are frustrated.
  2. Keep abreast of everything that is happening around you so that you begin to accumulate knowledge that you can apply both directly and indirectly to your writing. This will add depth to your messages; and
  3. Explore as many authors as you possibly can. Don’t restrict yourself to one genre of writing. Liberate yourself and be open to the way in which the classics were written, the beautiful verse that can be found in the bible for instance, contemporary jargon of your children and the sometimes incomprehensible slang of those on the periphery of society. And more.

The quest to enrich your writing is to be found not only in academic pursuits, but in the fullness of life. Think about this and  “live” your words, and you will find how much more enjoyable it is. And easier…

Frustration

photograph from http://www.makepartsfast.com

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5 thoughts on “Scream! Yell! Cry! But write!

  1. margo lomax on said:

    Thank you for those words of wisdom Theo. I have been writing a blog since August and have found it to be very fulfilling, and getting to be easier and easier with each new entry.

  2. Thanks Margo; it is good to hear that others have similar experiences. Perhaps I forgot say that one of the greatest enemies of the writer is Old Father Time. No doubt I should blog about that sometime.

  3. OK, Mr Coggin. Ruth Coggin and I are going to hoist you by your own petard and throw down the gauntlet (ja, two idioms nogal). When do we see the first draft of that (slim, to meet the ADD needs of society) book on ‘How To Write’?

  4. You at least continue to encourage! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Great advice for writing | Just another day in my life

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