WRITING SKILLS: Enhance With These 5 Creative Tools

By Bindu Saxena

I have acronym inspired insight. Here, my picks that the word ‘WRITE’ collaborates with and envelope top 5 products are: W rite; R esearch; I nternalize; T ransfer; E xperience. However, to use these as tools to enhance writing skills, I suggest we go reverse: E xperience; T ransfer; I nternalize; R esearch; W rite.

1. Experience: Nothing should escape a writer’s eye and persistence of his mission. He must possess curiosity of a night vision cat, tenacity of a bull, memory of an elephant, and a champion sniffer’s sense of smell coupled with coordinated use of multiple body sensors.

What makes us to write:Have you ever wondered how a mere whiff of fresh air, a look at rainbow arc, an ovation for a thunderous victory, and ellipses that speak the unspoken take us in one flash, into a thickly veiled history of cobwebs? This is the moment when our mental browser starts navigating through those tangled webs.

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Hidden under the debris, the memory content urges to resurface. These make the most helpful and useful equipment to make him say what he wants to say. And, writing is all about ‘something to say’. A writer must stock this coffer of images in his long- term memory. He must recall incidents of his life closely, the various highs and lows and how he handled them with his cognitive skills.

2. Transfer: This product would come into force only when the experiences were ripe enough and you could not wait any longer. Here, words take over from thoughts. Deal with them diligently. Develop your process organically. Do not bother about sequence. Just keep writing whatever comes to your mind on a particular day. Once you have finished writing, the time to stitch together pieces and make these look seamless, should come later.

The best thoughts surface when the brain is well rested. It might be 2AM for you. So, make it a norm to keep a diary and a pen by your bed side. Scribble what your mind dictated. You can organize it later. A few months of consistent writing for your private reading will give you confidence to undertake more difficult types of writing, later. Writing is a passion product. It should not be listed under chores.

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2.1 Content: Jot down all points on a paper. Put down sequentially and prepare an outline to show yourself how it might begin and end. Write effortlessly. Never try to wrench it out by force. Gradual process will bring out what you want to say on its own accord. Do not over elaborate. Leave something to the reader’s imagination. Clarity of thought and precision of expression should shine like a mirror. You can achieve miracles even with simpler words and easier synonyms. When in doubt do take help of dictionary, thesaurus, and related tools. Take your words seriously.

3. Internalize: This is a writer’s gestation period. It is like waiting to give birth. Nothing should sabotage your productivity. This period needs self-control. Do not allow distraction to plummet the work quality. Work it all in your head and prepare yourself to write differently, on a subject that has been dealt with, and written several times earlier. You may not get new themes every day, but writing differently on the same theme will give you a high. After the content was ready, devote time in giving it a well-defined structure.

3.1 Structure: Communicate easily so that readers comprehend easily. The writer must put his material in order. The total structure should make an aesthetically satisfying whole. Each word in a sentence should work like a right musical note. The beginning and the end are vital as in a percussion instrument. Work the whole piece in order that it sounds like a symphony. The content which is harmonious in its total orchestrations will grip the reader till end. Whether it is creative writing which reveals or non creative writing which informs, if the subject demands, add a hint of humor to enliven the piece.

4. Research: No writer has possibly evolved out of a vacuum. Perhaps there is no one in the world who has become a writer without having read a word. Reading for entertainment is different but long years of critical reading of best books of literature makes a writer’s virtual library. It acts as a catalyst in this creative field and helps not only in developing vocabulary, but also in suggesting answers to questions which he encountered in the course of writing.

There is a plethora of knowledge-share and knowledge-craft available on the internet. Web analysis and good literature also help us chisel our mind. It enhances and activates our cognitive skill receptors. Research also prods the dormant traits and makes them dominant. This helps to keep our experiences alive for years to come. Any topic can have diverse effect on our memory and it might take us to extract more information through our mental archive.

Do gain enough information and make your data base, but, when you write, your own projection will give your confidence. Give respect and due credits to whoever was referred to. Attempt to write what you do not know about. It is a good challenge. Accept it. It gives us chance to acquaint ourselves with what was un-trodden. This exercise makes one an adventurous writer.

5. Write: This is the final print of your expression and the last in the series. Go through it till the time you were convinced. Learn to be your own critic. Edit and revise. Write the first note followed by the second. The third draft may be the last to convince. Enjoy every process. If you romance with your writing, this is the time to press music button.

Censor yourself. Seek the opinion of other people. Do not be afraid of any criticism. It may be downright embarrassing but most of the time it helps you grow. You may have to go back to reframe the sentences, sequence and rhythm. Re-work your style.

5.1 Style: The link between the two words, two sentences, and two paragraphs is what constitutes your style. It distinguishes one writer from another. Two writers might write on the same subject. Both can be structurally satisfying too, but, if it is your own style you are second to none. For example: One writer may prefer ‘procrastination’ to ‘delay’, which is more expressive to the other.

Style is the manipulation of the language in which your work is expressed. Rewrite, until you hit the one that fits the best. Whatever is written must be credible and authentic. Whether the subject is new or trite, feed it with your insights and perceptions. Forget after sending your finished product to the publisher. If after all this labor of honesty your work fails to pass muster, better forget about it. You will make it up with your next assignment. Take a break and start afresh.

5.2 Practice: Do keep your creative side alive and remain in practice zone. Working on two projects side-by-side may be helpful. If one goes down the dumps, pick up another and start working on it. Practice is a well understood concept in any craft. Patience, persistence, perseverance are other ‘P,’ inspired words. Let them permeate. You will soon get your article, essay or book out.

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