This month’s guest blogger is John ‘JT’ Roberts, who asks: ‘Why Do We Write?’
On our journey through life we all experience unusual and difficult situations, which can leave us wondering why?
We should understand and appreciate that we are unique in ourselves and the ‘why’ is dependent on one’s own philosophy.
I had no interest in writing poetry, stories, or anything else, until later in life. After retirement I began regularly walking my dog and developed an insatiable appetite for contemplation and self-expression.
I had no preconceived ideas on how to write poetry although I was aware of the basic structure of verse, its separation and rhyme. However, I knew how I wanted to present my thoughts and my feelings to the rest of the world – completely unburdened by form or function. As a consequence my true feelings were reflected in my work.
Since then I have taken time to read various types, forms and presentations to enlighten myself. The good news is that the way I presented my work in the first place was, for me, the most satisfactory. Having said that, I do believe that conventional poetry in all its forms is an exquisite, exciting and challenging art.
Here are the first two verses from my first ever poem:
Sunset caressing darkening water
No breeze disturbs the tranquil scene
Colourful berries proud and clear
Captured in shards of fading beam
The darkness shrouds our sanctuary
Embracing the comforting show
Myriad colours upon the water
As lengthy shadows, grow
It was a reflection on a place where I could sit quietly and enjoy time to think. Initially, my thoughts were entirely on poetry and short stories, two books later I began to believe I was ready to accept the challenge of writing a book about my adventurous, exotic and exciting life. (As perceived by family and friends)
After a great deal of thought and a lot of persuasion, I decided to turn those experiences into a credible story, with a few twists and turns here and there for impact. Almost two years later the project became a published novel called ‘The Tranquil Man’ of which I am very proud. It has turned out to be a grand tale filled with adventure, danger, terror, fun and romance.
I agree that there is no such thing as a perfect book, but this one certainly makes me feel very pleased and adds a great deal to the confidence gained from my earlier poetic efforts.
The creative process was not simply a question of how to construct my story, but about deciding on the best way to do it!
I feel there are certain periods when writers are more productive. Discover what is best for yourself. For me this was early mornings 5-6-7 a.m. – but only after a decent sleep beforehand.
Personally, I don’t believe one can force oneself to write at given times or write so many words a day. If one loves the subject, if it becomes embedded in everyday life, exciting and stimulating thoughts will always be present! Keep notes and put pen to paper, then, when one has time and peace, the notes can be used productively.
My advice about the whole process, from pen to publication, is be PATIENT.
Make absolutely sure your work is as well prepared, accurate and with as few errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation as possible.
As I have learned, a handbook on proofreading is very, very, useful otherwise use proofreading and editing providers. Watch out for the cost because it can be expensive and is not always faultless!
You may decide to publish as a paperback or an eBook. Authors are often offered both these publishing formats by reputable self- publishing companies such as Amazon’s CreateSpace, Smashwords and others.
Studying the options is important in so many ways. Goals must be set before deciding on modes of production; the majority of self-published writers opt for eBooks and paperbacks in order to attract as many readers as possible. It should not be an attempt to make a fortune! But should that be the case, it would be a great bonus.
The writer’s GREATEST ASSET is a belief in oneself.
What is the ONE most difficult problem a new writer has to overcome?
I am ‘The Tranquil Man’
Available on Amazon
Best wishes and good luck.
John ‘JT’ Roberts