I was sitting staring at my computer screen, wondering what to write. That’s how it all started. Funny, because that’s how this blog started too.
It’s a Saturday, and on top of the unopened Guardian next to me calling to me like a wailing siren in the shape of a left-wing pigeon hole, I’ve got books, computer games, and of course chocolate to distract me. But that obligation to do something, find something productive in the way of writing, calls just as strongly. Of course it calls more strongly after a coffee. I’m about half way through this cup.
One of the reasons I love micro-fiction and flash fiction so much is that ability to sit down, start a project and let the imagination flow. Then with the words having cartwheeled from finger to page you can finish with a flourish of that magical word. END. It’s not always finished, but it’s closer than before I started writing.
When I was just starting off on my writing journey, there was one piece of advice thrown out by my trawling Google searches for “writing tips,” which most resonated with me. That is – if you want to write, then write. And of all the articles and extensive introspectives on writing and writing careers since, it’s still the one I find most useful.
When I stare at a page I start writing. If I’m looking for inspiration I start writing. It’s not all gold laced finger poetry, some of it is utter drivel, that last nauseatingly clichéd metaphor is a fine example that I’ll keep in to make my point. But ultimately, when I write I find what it is I was looking for.
There is of course a natural predisposition for creative writing which I think can help a great deal. But ultimately, like any process, improvement comes through practice. Improvement comes through trial and error. There’s been a lot of error. That one story about the goat travelling around New Zealand was probably one of them. Nobody shall ever read it.
So sometimes, if you’re sitting staring at the page, the best thing to do is just start writing. As long as you’re not so attached to your words that you fear to lose them again, it’s by far the best way to get those words out there in the first place.
And if you’re concerned that simply writing without a plan will create nothing but rubbish, then I apologise. Because I started this blog just staring at the page. And the only changes have been ‘postrophes. I hope you don’t hate it. Look on the bright side. There’s no story about a goat.