Every day I read, I speak, I listen, I write. Four entirely different yet interlinked skillsets that I constantly seek to hone and develop.
My focus on writing varies. I write this weekly newsletter, blogs, speeches, stories, emails, journal entries, podcast show notes, social media posts, letters and scripts. At school I used to write poetry and essays but the one thing I have yet to write is a book. It’s on the cards though and in preparation I recently read On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. A brilliant example of how to knit the genius of storytelling with teaching.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.” Stephen King
So there it is, Stephen King has given you and me permission to read and despite a desire to focus on writing today already reading has crept its way back into the picture. Writing and reading have entertained and educated people for millennia and appear inseparable.
According to the British Library, the origins of writing vary and new archaeological discoveries could change the dates currently understood. Full writing systems have been invented independently at least four times in the history of the human. A system of writing called cuneiform was used between 3400 and 3300 BCE in Mesopotamia and in 3200 BCE in Egypt. In 1300 BCE during the late Shang Dynasty in China there was evidence of a writing system and also in Mesoamerica between 900 and 600 BCE.
Since studying the science and history behind communication at university for my Linguistics degree, I continue to be fascinated by writing and how writing differs in its many forms.
Two recent guests on Focus on WHY have been fabulous writers in their respective fields; copywriter Jackie Barrie, and award-winning journalist, broadcaster, novelist, ghostwriter and screenwriter, Imogen Edwards-Jones. Both spoke about and advocated living in the moment and it reminded me of something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Big Magic, about creative living; living a creative life, an amplified life. I advocate living versus existing and to take that to the next level, how about trying creative living?
“I never promised the universe that I would be a great writer, goddam it! I just promised the universe that I would be a writer.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Giving myself permission to focus on writing each day is taking me ever closer to writing my first book and I am mindful of the advice from Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephen King and Imogen Edwards-Jones that the majority of people who start writing a book don’t follow it through to completion.
“The truth of the matter is, most people don’t finish things! Look around you, the evidence is everywhere. People don’t finish.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Each day I focus on writing. How about you? How does writing feature in your life and work?
Follow the advice from the master of writing, Stephen King, “Write a lot and read a lot.”
On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King - https://amzn.to/2Y2MkfW
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