• Dave Armstrong

The Art of Creative Writing

SLOW DOWN, YOU’RE WRITING TO FAST…




Blog, blog blog!


My partner Isabella (who does her best to keep my digital world spinning) has been on at me.


Again


But that’s OK, because I need to get my writing tools sharpened for beyond the lockdown.


No more excuses


And what could be a better time to share our words and thoughts with the world.


Find time to write!


So, I am oiling up up my brain’s writing cell and charging up the odd synapse. I realise that, although I spend my world immersed in film and music, there is something special about the written word and I need to stop being so easily distracted by shiny objects. I have to commit to reading and writing. At least once a day.


I found a link about the benefits of creative writing for kids.


Am I supposed to say children, by the way? I know, I know, kids are young goats. In that case, as we are all children (of someone) then this applies to all of us: creative self expression is great for building self-confidence.


Anyway, at this difficult moment in history, I think we can use the gift of time to slow down and think before we write/type/tweet and post. Maybe dialling back on the rate of textual intercourse could help us express ourselves more clearly to our friends and to the wider world. Quality not quantity.


Spend more time writing and enjoy the process rather than just thinking of it as something we need to get through on life’s journey towards the next box-set binge. The more you do it, the more you’ll enjoy it. A bit like eating broccoli or shopping for clothes with your partner.


Enjoy it enough and maybe we can join up our thoughts into something more substantial. A blog, a short story or even a letter to Santa. And, if we do want to go beyond that Christmas list, then resources are out there to help. Take the first great piece of advice on a website called SimpleK12.com

“If you don’t read, you can’t write.”

And that probably means reading a little more than the latest Facebook post. When I was younger, I used to devour books. Every genre. Popular and not so popular; highbrow, lowbrow and the brow in between. Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, Wilbur Smith, Harper Lee, Albert Camus, Herge (Tinitin), Kafka, Alistair Maclean, Alice Sebold, Anthony Burgess, Enid Blyton, Isaac Asimov,…


My biggest regret is that, over the years and possibly just like you, I have limited much of my reading time to long haul flights and holidays. And those three and a half milliseconds between lying down in bed with a good book and waking up, book still in hand, having re-read the same three lines as the night before.


The rest of my literary consumption is a mix of news, text messages, emails, tech manuals and prose that does little to uplift, inspire and capture my imagination. Apologies to all those who believed their last message to me was a veritable work of art. You did your best. Bless.


So if we think our posts and tweets are often misunderstood, next time put a little more effort into crafting a reply. Chose words a bit more carefully. Be kind before being critical. And you know what I do when I am stuck? I use this fantastic resource called the internet and learn from the great writers of the past and present. Find inspiration from a piece that does’t require a brain the size of a planet to understand. Or to have swallowed a page from the Scrabble Dictionary for breakfast. Really quite nice lightly toasted. And yes, sthenia and fy are actual words.


I found this quote from THE LITTLE PRINCE:


“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

See.


You can keep it simple.

Take your time.

Choose your words carefully.


And make the world a better place.


Remember your written words are out there for ever. Make them count.


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