Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ART OF WRITING XVI (Discipline Yourself)

One of the keyword in an aspiring writer’s lexicon is discipline. It is a myth that inspiration should strike before you put pen to paper. Like Edison said, good writing, like genius, is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. You should be able to switch on and off as the need arises. Lucky are the few who can escape into seaside or hillside resorts, for peace and quiet to write. Most of us have to be like the yogi who is in the midst of it all, yet able to achieve a detachment. For this, what you need is rigorous training of yourself.

Every day, make it a point to read at least one newspaper or magazine and cut out items of interest and paste in a scrap book- subject wise. Read this the next day, before pasting another. Try and relate this news item to someone during the course of the day, so that it becomes further entrenched in your memory. The day you slip up on the pasting, leaves the page blank. At the end of the month, count the number of blank pages. If that doesn’t shame you into diligence, nothing else will!

Set aside at least half an hour each day, for writing. Give up your TV viewing or outing if it comes to that. Here again, date your exercise an leave a blank on the day you don’t write. Whether in the form of a diary or a letter or a simple narrative, put down the day’s happenings – some instance which made you laugh for sad, some person who amused or irritated you, some event that irked or inspired you. Whatever it is, write. The next day, before you put down the day’s work, try and polish the previous piece. After a couple of days, you will find the change in your skill.