Pencil and Paper

“Writers write.”

It’s an old axiom from a gazillion years ago. The idea was that, as a writer, you should be doing nothing but writing. Every time. All the time. And, to a certain degree, it does make sense. the idea of developing your craft. Taking an initial project and subjecting it to analysis. Refining the words, the phrases, the action, the plot, the themes.

But there are two wrinkles to that old axiom. First, the idea that as a young writer (emphasis here on age) you may not have enough “life experience” to fluently discuss human, mature, adult topics for which you have no personal understanding. You are, by the very nature of your age, limited to what you can accurately portray and describe.

The other issue is that, as an adult with a job and a very serious set of responsibilities, you may not have as much time or opportunity to continue to develop your craft. In an economy fraught with the realistic terror that you might lose your job and be unable to pay your bills, Writing might be a secondary priority. At least, that;s what your family members and friends say.

The solution to both: pen and paper. A notebook. An old shopping list. The envelope from a recently paid bill. A pen. A pencil. A crayon. As a young writer it is important to write down your impressions of things almost as soon as they happen. Or at least shortly thereafter. Experience and then comment. This adds to the experience. This heightens what you’ve gone through and allows you to see it in several different lights.

As an adult, you may not have as much time as possible to devote to your craft and that is why a small notebook or scratch pad allows for an instantaneous response to be deciphered at a later time. Some event that took place at work and that you witnessed while grocery shopping creates fodder for a future story.

Writing, as in “writing a story”, begins with writing, as in “writing down what you see and hear”. A recipe starts with a list of ingredients. ALWAYS make your shopping list first.

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