To say that I’ve been slack in producing works of creative writing lately is an understatement. Though it’s not to say that I haven’t been working on pieces of writing.
This semester – my third of a post graduate journalism diploma – has certainly been trying. Trying to the point where I have questioned how good my writing is – what I believe to be my natural skill – and what I have achieved in the past, in terms of academic results and getting a positive response from readers.
Writing in the confines of literary theory was the challenge I needed but didn’t expect. I have been writing in the same style for as long as I can remember. But does it suit literary theory? I’m yet to even decide what type of writer I want to be. This semester has been about how I adapt and evolve my writing style to what it needs to achieve and for whom. I believe one’s writing style is a reflection of who they are as a person. My writing style was recently described to me as intense. And I wholeheartedly agreed, accepting the feedback for the positive reflection it was. Though what followed was the most light bulb moment I’ve ever experienced in terms of feedback I’ve received about my writing.
Take a breath.
Your writing will improve if you learn to hold your intensity with a lesser grip.
I’ve experienced the absolute joy of attending the Melbourne Writer’s Festival over the last couple of years; learning from the likes of Hannah Kent, Clementine Ford, Nikki Gemmel and Tara Moss. I’ve also had the privilege of learning from fine journalist academics during my course. Advice and inspiration has been abundant.
But it’s about choosing what works for you. The advice you take on board should be a reflection of who you are and who you want to be as a writer: write about what you know. Write about you want to know. Practice. Practice. Practice. Write every day. Write when you feel inspired. Write when you don’t. Write for you. Write for others. Know your reader. Get to know your reader. Reach out. Be clear. Inspire.
I will take the time to breathe when I write. For the outcome will be something that will be my own inspiration to keep doing what I love more regularly.