Tag Archives: traditional writers

What should you write about every day

I think this a challenge each writer faces when we decide to make writing a habit. After the initial burst of energy, things slow down and you often find yourself wondering what you should be writing about. After all, if you are writing for a blog, or your diary which you hope one day will be published, you do want to make your stuff readable. In my experience, my eternal sources of inspiration are as follows:

  1. Material that I read. I find it extremely useful to read a novel, an article or listen to news or stories on the radio and share my views and opinions on the same. It makes you think about the content and forces you to take a stance – which I feel most of the writers in the public forum tend to shy away from.
  2. My environment. I have found that when I have the goal of writing an article, my mind begins to look for inspiration in each object. It could be a green bottle of water that makes me question the beginnings of coloured bottles and takes my mind back to an article I read almost 20 years ago about the glass blowers of Austria; it could be the pillow on my bed and I wonder about the earliest references to pillows, the wooden headrest used by the Japanese… making me want to do a bit of research to discover why they chose such a hard material to rest their heads on at the end of the day.
  3. My favourite poems. I have loved reading poetry since my early days and I could read and re-read poems by Keats, Shelly, Yeats and some more contemporary names forever. I find their use of language to be a craft mastered to perfection. I read sections of their work and am inspired to match the metre and cadence in their pieces. A tall task but worth striving for.
  4. Everyday incidences. This is one of my favourite sources where I try to pen experiences and stories that have happened to me, or have been shared with me. To convert an incident into a written document is one of the writer’s biggest challenges, as you have only words. Often words don’t do justice to the emotions and thoughts that we experience in a given situation. Which means, a situation that was filled with excitement and tension can sound very watered down once you put it down on paper. I like capturing those moments and seeing if I am able to do justice with my writing and story-telling skills.

Apart from these, of course there are others like online prompts and a word a day activities that one could choose, but I often find it difficult to connect to those. What are your inspirations to keep writing every day? Do share.

Image source: www.readbrightly.com

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It’s good to cry when you write!

So says Robert Frost. I personally think Robert Frost is one of the finest writers I have ever read, and I have bird-bird-rain-cold-poor-bird-snow-Favim.com-318706read some, even if I say so myself. Since I have been on my blogging trip, I like to look up what other writers: bloggers and the traditional writers, have to say about their craft. I was looking for inspiration and this is what I found today: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost.

It resonates with me totally. It also made me realize I have been doing some things wrong when it comes to writing. As an individual, I can be embarrassingly sentimental, not only to those around me but also to myself. And this image of me does not really match the image people have of me when they interact with me on a personal or professional level. To most people, I am practical, level-headed and while I can get upset at times, they would definitely not call me sentimental.

But the fact is I am – terribly sentimental. I can look at a painting and cry, I can read poetry and cry; you get the gist. There are times when I am writing a story or piece and I will stop and weep. This happens as a lot of my stories are based on real people I may have seen, interacted with or read about. For me, the story or the poem becomes an opportunity to discover the person and all that has happened to him or her through the journeys of my imagination. If I am aware of a tragedy that may have affected the person, it upsets me and brings tears to my eyes. I have scrapped several stories and poems that made me feel this way because I thought it was soppy. And I always felt no one would want to read soppy stories!

And then, today, I came across this quote, ‘No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader…’ This makes you wonder how people will respond to a story that makes you cry while writing. Would it move the reader to tears?

This quote gives you the courage to try and be honest, to share your feelings with your readers, and to write without worrying about being soppy. So, thank you, Mr. Frost.

~ Bharti Athray