Friday, 16 January 2015

Working it Out

It has taken an inordinately long time to recover from a very different Christmas and New Year but I grasped 2015 by the throat this Monday.

The Writer's Workout
Everywhere I read of the latest diet or workout and whereas as a teen I would of lapped up the advice with widened eyes, in later life they are wide with disbelief. One way to mess up a natural body rhythm early on is to heed the "latest thing." It follows with a series of the latest things and before you know it your food and exercise perspective is bent out of shape. The same concepts also apply to writers.

It begins with reading, as with the teen who thinks that they need to lose a couple of lbs. The young reader laps up their chosen reading matter to shape their reading taste and perspectives. The young reader will then either regularly workout their reading exercise or then only give it brief attention when at school or when scanning the labels on the edges of supermarket shelves or fast food menus. The avid reader will stick to what they like best or look for the "latest thing."

The trouble with the latest thing is that it is often so over-marketed to target sales that it doesn't necessarily live up to the hype. Will it provide long-lasting results? Will it provide the memories of a well-coined phrase or a strong mesmeric character to haunt your dreams?

Writers are shaped by their reading experiences and when they first set pen to paper it is often followed by research into all the advice other writers have on offer. The new writer seeks a routine, a workout to suit their needs. I have tried numerous methods and heeded the advice but... can all we writers workout to the same routines? No. Just as a writer aims to pen a unique book, unique methods should be what works best for the individual writer. I despair when I hear writers say that they apply a "method" or churn out books quickly to make a name or quick buck.

There's only one trouble with my analogy... a writer also wants to write "the latest thing."