We have a new contributor on the blog today, Mary Cobbe. She’s sent in some interesting thoughts on what it’s like to start out writing. Welcome Mary.
It is with some trepidation that you first immerse a shivering toe gingerly into the cold water of a writer’s shoes. After-all you may have been spending a life time with a swirling soup of ideas in your head, but unused to the practice of pinning them down and expanding them out, or cooking them up into a respectable, digestible , plausible story. Going public with ideas is daunting. Full exposure of one’s skill, or lack of it, is, however, a necessary step to the beginning of writing sharpness and acuity (is that the right word?).
To accept criticism is at the crux of it. Criticism, no doubt, is always useful if it is constructive and it would be a poor writer who would not be prepared to take advice from those more experienced and those who can see what you have done objectively. Writing can be such a subjective activity. A story can be like a painting that is going well, the colours flowing and melding, the continuity appearing seamless and the threads and lines of intermingling themes can be the carrier of what you want to convey without spelling it out. Equally well though, it can grind to a halt, lack the composition, smudge or just be plain boring and have to be thrown out. Learning the grammar of a story, and not just a sentence is also, I suppose, what it is about.
Word-smithing is a beautiful craft.