The Shelf

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What to write about…

I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to decide what to write about that would be interesting to you.

I have had a mixture of ideas and expect my blogs will end up being an eclectic mix of this and that. Fortunately, you can do that in a blog – but not such a good idea if you’re writing a book.

With a book, you have to organise your thoughts and ideas in somewhat of a theme. This becomes a plot, made real by your imagination. Your characters take on a life, with families, friends, a home and a job. Before you know it, you have a novel, ready to share with your readers. How exciting!

However, just like writing a blog, it all has to start somewhere, with an idea and either a pen and paper or a keyboard.

Are you procrastinating? Trying to come up with the ‘perfect’ idea before you even start? Take my advice. Just start. Write words – ramble as much as you like. Write, write, write – and then rewrite. Because if you don’t start writing now, another year will pass you by and you’ll still be thinking about it.

A good friend of mine gave me this advice many years ago when he was teaching me to ski. Standing at the top of the mountain, I looked down and thought ‘how the heck am I going to get to the bottom?’

He said, ‘only look a few feet in front of your skis. You don’t need to look all the way down the hill. Just keep concentrating on those few feet in front of you…go from one side of the hill to the other, and eventually you’ll get to the bottom.’

Isn’t that good advice? Don’t worry about all that needs to be done to get to the end. You’ll get there, but first you have to point those skis and start moving.

That’s what I’ve just done with this blog.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”Mark Twain
"The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe."Gustave Flaubert
"Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing."Bernard Malamud
"Good writing will bring you to places you don't even expect sometimes."James Gandolfini
"Writing is hard work. Generating stories that catch people's attention and holding it are very difficult."David Ogden Stiers
"You have the itch for writing born in you. It’s quite incurable. What are you going to do with it?"L.M. Montgomery
"It’s better to write about things you feel than about things you know about."L.P. Hartley
"A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters."Angela Carter
First edition published by Curious Monkey 2015