Tap, tap tapping away on my laptop as I am to write this missive to you, but I am only typing up what I have already scrawled down in my trusty notebook.Typed purely so the blog can be sent out into the wide world and because you wouldn’t be able to read my handwriting! So why not just write my thoughts straight on to the computer? Because it’s just not the same thing as using a pen and paper.
All this is in my thoughts because this Wednesday is National Writing Day, a campaign to try to inspire us all to pick up our pens and get scribbling. Their message is simple, ‘everyone has a story to tell’ and ‘sharing it can be a source of pleasure and power’. What a great idea! We spend so much of our time writing, be it a text, email or list. But how much opportunity do we get to simply write for fun? A lot of us have a yearning to write, but why? It could be to impart knowledge, to communicate our beliefs, to entertain others, to unleash our creativity, for love or as a form of therapy. All of these are good valid reasons and why shouldn’t we all have a go? We can’t all be Roald Dahl, but maybe we can derive a little happiness from expressing ourselves and sharing our experiences. There’s no doubt that writing can be incredibly cathartic and so even if this it’s only result, how fantastic to lighten our over active, frazzled brains.
Whatever and whenever you’re writing, there is nothing quite like a clean, crisp, blank, unsullied page of a new notebook to get the creative juices flowing. There’s a comfort that one can get from the tangibility of a book which can’t be achieved with a screen. It can be held on to, it’s not as disposable or deletable. In the same way, I have to read a book rather than a kindle, the screen just feels too impersonal. Thoughts and ideas flow so much more freely with a notebook and pen than when faced with a blank screen. Notebooks are also superior when brainstorming and formulating ideas and going back to past thoughts and concepts. There are fewer distractions in a notebook compared to the winking message light on your email or the temptation to ‘just Google…’ …..2 hours later! With a journal, you are not reliant on a WIFI signal, it can be picked up anywhere and anytime.
However, the computer does of course have an incredibly important part to play, today more than ever for those wanting to share a story.Blogging has enabled millions of people to have a go at putting pen to paper. This is a great place to start, to formulate your style and find our what content is popular.
With all this in mind, I thought I’d look up some tips for aspiring writers, so here are the top five I found:
1. Carry around a notebook. No ulterior motive I promise! But you never know when inspiration might strike!
2. Just start-the hardest part.
3. Read a lot-to inspire you and to get an idea of what you do or don’t like in a story.
4. Write about what you know or what you want to know more about.
5. Don’t give up!
Ok, not the most comprehensive list but I think that’s the point, we just need to give it a go to and see what happens. So, this National Writing Day, why not pick up your notebook and pen, share your story and unleash your inner author?