Anyone who has ever written a prose or short story with an inkling of heartfelt emphasis can offer their two rupaiyas on writing.
Writing is not as methodical as science nor does it produce universally proof-based results as math. Courses on writing can help to improve the structure and strength of a prose or paragraph but the ultimate inspiration has to come from within.
Tips for Writing
1. He or She?
What a better example of the exclusion of my gender than the way our pronouns have been historically ignored in writing.
I have great trouble quoting yesteryear writers for they most notably limited their wisdom for “man” and “his” needs, as a means to encompass all of humanity, thereby excluding women in the discussion. By absorbing such ideas, such a default became ingrained in our words, written or spoken.
Thankfully, our awareness has become richer to represent every human being in our discourses – male, female, or transgender. A good writer will acknowledge this in his/her writing.
Here is my small edit for a brilliant quote from one of my favorite writers on what determines real art 🙂
2. There is no One Interpretation
For this, I would simply recommend reading a simple poem- “Ars Poetica” by MacLeish.
“A poem should not mean but be.”
3. Writing to Overcome one’s Ego
Impersonate a veiled woman and realize the liberties within that context, or a scientist whose evidence based results do not contradict with his faith in God etc.
Reading and writing serve well to remove our self-made barriers via imaginative empathy.
Take the name of any great author — Their expression of love and sorrow will surely overlap across time and borders. This is the brilliance of humanity.
4. To Develop an Ambivalent Stance
A good writer can write from his/her point of view. A marvelous writer can pen down ideas contradictory to one’s own and convince the reader on the same. A writer may have his own preconceptions and biases but the true authenticity of the artist must flow through.
5. Writing NOT to please others
This is, perhaps, most important of all.
It does not matter if your past lover, current mate, or future soulmate is reading your work. Your writing should not be defined by how it would affect others but rather about developing your own peace in letting your words come through as they are.
There was a point where I wished to write a book about my first (failed) love but it didn’t get past a few chapters. Once I let go of those pages and developed a new story from scratch, I wrote with greater ease as opposed to the painful writer’s block I faced with the original concept.
A Note of Gratitude:–
I hope these tips may encourage you to pen down your thoughts too.
Apart from publishing my poems in a national newspaper (Hindustan Times – “We Must Go On“) and few magazines, I do not have the recognition to call myself a professional writer. Even then, creating this blog has been the most cathartic experience and my lack of fame gives me the freedom to write free of pretense.
My short stories are my most treasured works and I am extremely thankful for my readers base, as small as it may be.
Someday, I hope to meet God and say – This is what I have achieved with the time you have given me. I hope you can spare some of yours and read some of my stories with me. 🙂