Our ideas about writing often come from our experience of writing. Some of it happened in school – some of us loved to write ‘what we did on our summer holidays’ in primary schools, and school essays of various topics, which often had to follow set rules for structure and grammar. Some of us didn’t like it so much…
Our other experience of writing often came at work; there, we wrote reports, letters, official documents in official language, again following rules and templates.
Finally, our experience of writing comes from reading, whether it is novels, thrillers, newspaper articles, we all read and subconsciously associate this to writing.
There are a number of myths about writing, and ideas about writers that we subconsciously carry. Writers used to be represented as a young man (yes, young, and yes, a man usually), sitting alone in a garret at the top of a grey building (it was usually in Paris, wasn’t it?) The Author, with a capital A, was born a poet, or a novelist, he struggled in poverty to be true to his Art (with a capital A).
Yet, most authors will tell you that writing is a craft, and that a craft can be learnt, and must be practiced.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote:
Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.
If he is right, then in our SenGuide adventure, we already have the most compelling element of writing: your interest, your passion for your topic.