Greetings and Happy New Year! As experienced and new writers, I hope you WROTE down your resolutions. Sometimes it works better that way.
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As part of your new yearís resolutions if thatís something youíd like to plan, Iíd like you to think about your commitment to writing. Do you have a goal of what youíd like to write about, or an unfinished manuscript youíd like to tackle? Do you have some unread books that might inspire your own writing?
My name is Sandra and Iím the creator of ďMusings,Ē a column aimed to inspire, help and support you as writers in the worldwide community of litdotorg. Iíd like to thank Stuart Myers and the team for bringing me on board. Iím excited to be part of this project. If you have any feedback or suggestions about this column, please email the editor.
Iím addicted to writing. I write something every day, even if itís just email. I am always playing with words and connecting with people through writing. When Iím concentrating hard at writing, I lose track of time and donít eat, but sometimes someone brings me coffee. Itís hard to tear myself away from the computer when Iím editing.
My husband says, ďItís after midnight. Youíve got to work tomorrow,Ē to which I reply, ďIím almost done.Ē I get to bed an hour or two later and sleep in the next morning. What makes one write for hours on end with the odd stretch break and without compensation? But I do have compensation, even if itís not always monetary. I get the chills, I feel the passion, I live for those moments when my fingers fly over the keyboard and a smile appears on my face. I press the Ďsendí or Ďprintí button and I feel content and purposeful. Responses from readers also motivate me to keep on this path of writing.
My background is in fine art and mental health. I paint in acrylics and exhibit my work. However, my writing experience comes from attending university, joining online writersí groups, night school courses, and reading books. I also taught creative writing for a year. My published works include autobiographical work, fiction, poetry, and articles, which have appeared in print and online publications.
Currently, I am a liaison manager for peer-run mental health services and give talks on recovery to students, families and mental health professionals. Also, I co-wrote an article for PSR/RPS Express, a psychosocial rehabilitation national newsletter, and plan to jointly publish a paper in a psychosocial rehabilitation journal about The Art Studios, a non-profit organization that helps the mentally ill.
Iíd like to share some thoughts. My idiom of the month is ďthe catís meow,Ē meaning ďan admirable person or thing.Ē I wish for you as writers to achieve the catís meow in your writing. To strive to improve, learn, self-educate, and stretch your mind and imagination.
There are many cat sayings. ďCuriosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.Ē Along those lines, I think a writer should be curious, and seek to know, to understand and to be. The more experiences, knowledge and insights we have, the more we can bring to pen and paper.
For example, when you get on the bus, do you read a newspaper or stare out the window? Are you conscious of the people on the bus, their appearance, behavior and conversations?
I know a fellow that regularly visits the neighborhood coffee shop and listens in on conversations. He looks straight ahead like heís in a trance and opens a channel. Iím not saying eavesdropping is necessarily a good thing, but can be an ear-opening experience.
To know something about what makes people tick and how they interact with others will help you develop credible characters and dialogue in your writing. When forming characters, I draw on my own traits or base their motives, strengths and idiosyncrasies on personalities Iím familiar with.
Likewise for poets, being in tune with your environment can lead to some amazing poetry. Heightened sensory perception, thoughts and emotions come through in effective writing.
So I invite you to join me on a journey with ďMusings,Ē as I explore the world of writing with hopefully a fresh perspective that will aid you as a writer. My aim is to provide insights and hints, which you can take with you. At this point, I donít have all the answers, but I think writing well is within your grasp and when you get there youíll know. And to me, thatís the catís meow.