I am a big fan of the Longform podcast and would recommend this podcast if you are interested in longform writing. Every week a writer and/or editor is interviewed about their career and their writing process. They had Elizabeth Wurtzel on the show last October and she said something about writing which I have not forgotten since I heard it.
She said that as a writer, ‘writing is the hardest thing you can do sitting down’. I have spent most of this month working on a project report and a journal article and it has been hard going. I read a lot about writing in the hope that I will one day uncover the secret of writing despite knowing there is no secret other than putting your arse in the chair and writing. ‘The first rule of writing is to write’ according to Sean Connery’s character in the movie, Finding Forrester.
Writing is like a muscle, the more you write, the better you get over time. A lot of the initial outpouring of words on the page will not be great but you need to push through the crap to get to the high quality stuff. Most people get stuck in the crap and give up. The act of pushing through requires stamina and perseverance.
I have read other people’s writings and felt I couldn’t write at this level in my best dreams. I have also realised that I haven’t reached this level because I haven’t yet pushed myself like these writers to get to this level and depth of writing. I don’t have the required writing experience and I haven’t developed the stamina plus perseverance needed to do this type of writing.
Great writings or other great creative endeavours should make you to pause, acknowledge their beauty/elegance and be inspired to produce similar great works in your lifetime. To be able to induce in others the effect or emotional impact of what you have experienced as a result of engaging with that piece of great creative work is something worth striving for in your own work.
2 replies on “The First Rule of Writing….”
Really..this is for me. Thanks for writing this piece Olaojo.
Hey Jide, I am glad you found it useful.