To all young writers out there,
You might be feeling a lot of pressure to write about themes and topics inspired by a new milestone in your life or a new stage in your relationships. But is this the moment to write about those emotions? Experience has taught me it is not.
You don’t have to write about it now. You just have to capture and record.
A young writer I met recently told me, that she wanted to start writing about the wonderfully new emotions she is experiencing. She wants to write stories about first love and everything that comes with it. She is feeling inspired by love and that is awesome. Yet, she says, the right words aren’t coming out, and what does come out isn’t measuring up to the intensity of what she is feeling and wants to convey.
You might be feeling like she was when she first approached me with this issue hoovering over her head. She was overwhelmed, frustrated and wanting desperately to begin. She was fearful that the connection with the feelings of joy and love would be fleeting, and would never be that real and authentic again.
Right now it’s the time to live, not write.
And as you live and experience, you keep a journal, diary or notebook. This paper or electronic space is going to be your tool, and jotting down events, words, emotions and ideas as they come, your strategy.
I’m an advocate of “journaling” as a quintessential writer’s practice. It is a self-healing act. A great way to leave a bread crumb trail back to your youth. At least it has been for me. Within the pages of your journal you’ll find inspiration, emotions and images. This will be the source material for which to craft the story that’d be finally ready to be written.
Every time I read a page inside one of my many journals magic happens. I relived those moments again. And that was the main fear I’m glad to have put to rest in the mind of my young writer friend. And in yours.
Build your memory box.
With pen, paper, tablet or PC at hand, you have everything you need to create a memory box filled with inspiration from real life, that would later get to live a second or third life in the pages of your poems, stories and novels.
Events. What, when, where, why, how? answer those question and keep an updated log of meaningful days and moments. Even if they seem ordinary today, trust me, they aren’t.
Words. An action may mean a thousand words. But just one word can trigger a memory.
Emotions. Open your heart and let loose on the page. It can take it. It is for your eyes only.
Ideas. Just because you won’t sit down and write the whole story or novel today it doesn’t mean that you have to let that idea for a story go. Grab it and save it. Look at it often. It would be your driving purpose.
Final advice for young writers: Work every day to keep your senses wide. Live, record, repeat.
What’s in your memory box? Share with me an inspiring memory from your youth!