I’m supposed to be working on a novel but I haven’t touched it in two whole weeks. That’s not a good sign – normally anyways. I HAVE been reading – and rereading books on writing lately.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m searching for but I’m hoping that this is one of those you’ll recognize it when you see it scenario. My fingers are crossed and I’m holding my breath as I read through each page. But I’m at ease with all of it because I am presently reading more than I have in recent times. As Stephen King said in his wonderfully written book On writing– which I have already read twice by the way. Every book has something to teach you, you can learn what to do it with the good books or you learn what not to do with you the bad book. I am totally starting to see that.
I’m learning a lot about my own writing too – pattern, style, that kinda stuff. How to unleash my creativity, and ways to unload my craft. I am still in the process of fleshing it all out and I admit I still have a long way to go but boy am I grateful for the books I have read. The fun part is trying to apply everything to the novel I’m
supposed to be working on.
I think in my case, the fact that I have never had any formal or proper writing lessons is a contributing factor, major even.
I was always at a complete loss and couldn’t understand why I had to study English language when I was in primary and secondary school. The way I saw it, I already spoke and wrote English, to me the rest was history. So I stubbornly refused to be bothered. I recall never bothering to study for an English exam ever and in some ways the universe feed my stubbornness because I don’t recall ever failing an English paper either.
Which is not to say that I have the skill set required to write a book. Maybe if I had paid more attention to it, I might have garnered the rudimentary knowledge required to atleast break the ice. But regrets are a losers game and I don’t play.
Now, I read and I read and I read some more. Immersing myself in all the books, only coming up for air to practice my writing. Until I am able to afford proper creative writing tutoring. Hopefully when that time comes, I will have garnered enough “old-school” learning and knowledge.
It’s funny how deeply I have sunken my feet into the reading is the best way to learn writing theory. I used to hate it, abhor it even. But I have come around, I have seen the light and if I never tell you anything let me tell you this right now; reading is the best way to become a writer.
There’s also the matter of courage, I am learning to be courageous. To push past my doubts, my fears and my constant feelings of inadequacy and actually let my mind be. To let myself be creative, like with everything else, I am still learning. Not anywhere near perfect yet but this post is proof enough that I am getting there.
I wish I could say that books and reading is the only reason I have been away for this long but that would be a lie. There was fear and doubt and anxiety and procrastination and sheer laziness and a host of other reasons too. But I think all that is behind me now.