Tag Archives: life

Every champion needs help

Champion: Top of Stok Kangri, India. Photo by Kev Howlett

We all want to be a champion in our writing life. We want to be able to articulate the ideas and thoughts in our head and share that with a reader. But any great champion needs support and guidance to get to where they want to go.

Writing is an especially lonesome activity. Unlike something like training for a marathon, where you can measure your progress through your fitness or physical prowess, the only way to know if you are improving or even on the right track, is to get feedback on your work. For many writers, this can be daunting. Some writers even think they don’t need it because their writing is going to evolve into a bestseller. Yes, it’s true.

What kind of help might a writer look for?

Seek Feedback

If you’ve written a novel and no one except you has read it, how do you know if it’s any good? The first step is to have someone read it. This may be paralysing for some but if you really want your work out in the world, many people will read it eventually. You want it to be the best it can be. Feedback at this stage is critical.

Join a Writing Group

One reader’s opinion is great but not well rounded because writing, like any art form is subjective. Being in a writing group with several other writers who can give you valuable, critical feedback is priceless. Some of your group won’t like or get your writing, others will but the aim in this situation is to be able to tell each other what does or doesn’t work and how it might be improved.

Not only will you grow as a writer, you will also learn what a reader looks for in a story. You will also learn how to articulate what does and doesn’t work in a story, which can be translated in your own writing. Hanging out with likeminded people also makes the writing journey much less lonely.

Find a Mentor

You can travel the writing journey on your own but this means that you will make many mistakes that may set you back time and time again. These mistakes may even mean that you never reach your destination.

Every champion has a coach or mentor. Mentors provide guidance, training, inspiration and motivation. Your mentor has walked the journey that you want to follow (if you’ve found the right one), which means they have many lessons to share with you.

What do you need from your guide? You need them to be honest with you about your work and the direction you want to go. You need practical advice on ways to improve your work, how to get into the writing industry and how to keep going when you are ready to give up. This person will teach you, from their own experience, the things you need to know that will fast track you to your destination.

Is there someone you know who can fulfil any of these roles above, someone who will help you get to where you want to go so that you can be a champion? They could be friends, colleagues, someone at the library, a writer’s centre. When you start looking, the right person will show up. If you think our Creative Fellowship might help, check it out here.

Blaise the book chick

Share ...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestPrint this page

Winter Solstice: A Creative Muse

Winter Solstice by Blaise van Hecke

I love winter. Open fires, hot cups of tea to warm our chilled hands, beautiful winter sunsets. I’d love it even more if I could stay longer in bed in the morning, but you can’t have everything.

Today I am reflecting on the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year, the longest night, a time for contemplation. Time to make magic. What does this mean to me? Does it mean anything? Maybe it’s nothing to think twice about and we go on with our day as normal.

Being a writer means EVERYTHING bears thinking about because that’s what writers do. We want to know the significance of things. It hurts the brain, doesn’t it? Writing is a vehicle where we can make sense of these ‘everythings’ in our head.

The Winter Solstice can be a great muse for our writing. There are so many aspects to what it is, the historical values, what it might mean to us that we can ponder and use in our writing. How do you do this?

One way could be to think about what the longest night might mean to nature? What are the elements that relate to nature that could be interesting in a piece of writing? Can we relate these to death, dying, or renewal? Do you feel that the solstice is the start of winter, or the middle? Are there dark, mystical themes that we can tease out and infuse into our writing?

Now think about the history of humans. How do you think the Winter Solstice might have been viewed over the centuries? There were most likely pagan rituals around it during the Middle Ages and who knows how it has shaped other religious entities.

How many questions have I raised here? I haven’t gotten to any answers yet. I haven’t made sense of anything at all so where is this magic that writing is meant to answer? This is the magic of writing. Not that we get a definitive answer to our questions but that in the asking of questions, and writing through them, we go on a quest to discover our own truths and eek out stories as we go.

Being a writer is a quest. A quest to knowledge and enlightenment.

Blaise the book chick

*If you’d like to discover more about storytelling, come along to one of my Meetup groups at the Busybird Publishing studio. More info about the next session is here.

Share ...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestPrint this page