How to Start Writing

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Fortunately, there has been no dearth of great writers in this world. From the ancient Shakespeare to the recent Agatha Christie, we have had plenty of engaging reads that have hooked us tight till the very last page. Many novels pass our time, some make us like them but there are also a few that force us to salute them. The Kite Runner, And Then There Were None, The Alchemist and other such novels not only make us applaud them, but bow down to the writer, his imagination as well. There are some reads that impress us so much that we are forced to wonder whether we too could create such a marvel.

This article is about those who have felt so after reading some particular novel. Who have had an urge to produce something brilliant as well. And although it may be too challenging to become anything like Shakespeare or Homer, it is quite easy to begin with writing. Whether you want to do it as a hobby or choose it as a career is a question to be answered later, there are other things to be pondered upon when starting to write. Once my teacher had told the class that a few centuries back someone had been asked who can become a great writer. He had answered that a man who has traveled a lot and has a wide point of view. A century later the answer was different: anyone who can think.

Shakespeare and Homer

That answer has remained, and will remain the same forever. The better you are able to think, the better you are able to write because basically, that’s what writers do. Writing is ninety percent thinking and ten percent of other things. So if you think you can begin with this ninety percent, here is how you need to start. Remember those dreadful articles, speeches and reports you used to write in school examinations? Well turns out they were never so dreadful. They are the simplest tasks that test your imagination. So stop hating them for a moment and start doing them instead. Not for a long time, just till you are sure that now on you will be able to write something good on any topic presented to you, any topic.

Believe it or not but there are people who love writing articles so much that they make a career out of it. But if you are one who wants to move on, next comes the two types of writings, poems and story. A good poet may not be able to create a good story and likewise for a good storyteller. So who are you? Figure out on the basis of this fact. A good poet is one who understands and a good storyteller is one who imagines. Those who understand every aspect of human beings, society, nature or any topic out there are better at poems because they are able to point out their flaws, their qualities, their differences and every detail worth sharing with the world. Engraving all that understanding in a rich web of words and bingo, there you are with a beautiful poem.

As of stories, there are again two types, fiction and non-fiction. If you are among those who can create a story, a linked web of events, create characters and plan out their response to different situations that arise in their lives, go for fiction. And start with the genre you read the most, you will be best at it. On the other hand, if you want to help people by inspiring them, encouraging them or in any other way, go for non-fiction. You just need to know the universal truths about human life like time moves on and such stuff and you should be able to express them in detail, so that everyone can connect with a bit of it somehow. In both the cases, start with short writings, save larger ones for when you have had a bit of amateur experience.

Fiction and Non-fiction

The other thing that you need to take care of – that comes in the rest ten percent – is your command over language. Grammatical mistakes, errors in tenses should be avoided and also avoid using heavy stuff. Everybody likes a language they can understand in one go. Don’t be a child either. Use sentences like ‘Sunlight came through the transparent curtains’ instead of ‘Sunlight came through the diaphanous drapes’ or ‘Sun’s light came through curtains one could see through of’ to convey the same. If you are thinking of taking it up as a hobby, you will always be learning and if you are thinking of taking it up as a career, learn to take criticism. Not everyone will always like your work, but that’s no reason to give up. Vocabulary is another thing but if you are into reading, you probably have enough of it.

The world has seen people who can perform miracles with a pen and paper and though it’s a lot too early to say such a thing – but since nothing is impossible – you may too be one of them. All you need is a little push. So dive into writing; diary entries, articles or any other form and show the world what you are capable of. Because no matter how many great writers there have been, no one says no to a new one. The question is, are you willing to be the new one?

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