Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Writers Skillset...

Two skills are essential if you really want to write.

One is that you will find time to write.

You will cancel an assortment of fun/ kind/ thoughtful things to do with/ for other people in order to write. The house will fall apart, your child will watch too much tv occasionally but you will write. You will step away from sitting with your family to watch meaningless - but comforting - tv to write and yet, somehow, keep time to eat together, walk together, talk somehow about all the important and unimportant things, and check homework!

Taking time for your writing takes courage and strength of character. Most of all, it takes self belief and somehow, from the experience of writing all my life, I know men tend to be far better at this. How many writer's life stories have you read where the (male) writer locks himself away, ignoring every demand for his attention until his writing day is done. Are there women - mothers - who can do this?!

At one point it seemed that every male writer I knew also had a wife who worked in a high power financial job and supported her husband. But I'm not sure I could cope with that either. And it doesn't seem to be true of Irish male writers.

So if you want to write, find five muinutes while waiting for a bus/a dentist/ life to get exciting again. Go to bed an hour early and script a few scenes just to get to the next stage. Brainstorm characters/ plot/ visuals while you walk.

Don't you love it when you HAVE to stop to scribble something down?! Here's my latest: Sweetmeat was a very misshapen dragon.

I guess you had to be there.

And because I've been told blogs should be short, I'll save the second half of this till my next one. So stop reading and go write for five minutes instead! About the colour blue. Your first childhood memory of feeling fear. Or just how you're feeling now...

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