Angry Wild Legends

Writing, authoring, publishing, literary stuff of all kinds – plus anything else!

How do you learn to write?

I think mostly you don’t.

At least, of course you physically learn to write – you go to school and teacher says “No, no! The letter ‘b’ has the hole on the other of the down-stroke! What you wrote was a ‘d’. Try again!” That’s the mechanics of it, and for many of us that was hard enough. Then, when the basic idea of the alphabet had been instilled, they introduced spolling, which to me is still as mysterious as algebra. (I don’t do sums!)

But that’s not what I mean. (Yes, I know, you shouldn’t begin a sentence with a preposition, but this is my blog so I can do what I like.) If you want to learn about punctuation and grammar/er, an’ stuff, go to http://www.abc123kidz.com and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Nor am I referring to the deep and mysterious conceptuality of writing. No. What I’m thinking of is the bit that goes between the two. The bit where someone sits down and says “Today I’m going to  write {something}.” There are millions of people who do just that every day; they sit at their desk with pen (or keyboard) to hand and they gaze at the sheet of blank (possibly virtual) paper and begin to write.

Trouble is, most of them begin but somehow the impetus wanes all too quickly, the hand relinquishes the pen/keyboard, and the Great Novel of our Generation fails to transpire.

Writing is hard work, regardless of your chosen genre, fact or fiction. OK, it’s not the same hard work you experience when you’re digging over the garden, or bent beneath the bonnet (that’s alliteration. See? I’m learning!) over the car engine, or when your real work is physically demanding – but it’s hard work all the same, and don’t let anybody tell you different. It’s pressure work, even if you are (like me) an unpublished writer who has no deadline to meet. There’s the pressure of getting all the ideas that are buzzing in your head down on paper before they melt into forgetfulness. There’s the pressure of figuring out solutions to the problems the characters in your prose have gotten themselves into. There’s the effort of researching your material. There’s the pressure of reads and re-reads, writes and re-writes; the taking on board of criticism; the personal acknowlegement that what you wrote was rubbish; and the awful writers block!

Anyway, what all this leads up to is to tell you about a website I found (not my website) that I would heartily recommend any writer to visit. It’s the website of Nick Daws, a well-published author of over 40 books and numerous articles, features, &c. His website – http://www.nickdaws.co.uk/ – and his bloghttp://www.mywritingblog.com – are great places to begin to learn how to actually write. Nick has written a great deal on the subject, and even offers courses exploring all the issues most new writers come across. Before anyone asks, no, I’m not getting paid to advertise this guy! But I do believe he has a lot to offer and would very much recommend, if you are serious about setting out on the tortuous path to literary fortune, that you pay him a visit.

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March 25, 2007 - Posted by | Words

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