What Makes You a Good Writer

Henry David Thoreau once said, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Is there anything that we cannot agree with about this thought and ultimate truism? We can just guess the number of people Thoreau has encountered who have fancied themselves good writers but could not form an idea that is original and unique. Just like today. There are many aspiring writers who struggle to find their voice or who have no idea where even to begin when it comes to penning down their first page. We think that we may have something of an answer so read along and find the answer to the burning question: what lies in the essence of the stuff that makes any person a good writer? Or even better, what makes you a good writer?

Stand up to live

What does Thoreau mean by this? Most people are alive but do they really live their lives? This is a labyrinthine philosophical question to say the least, but it does point in the direction that every aspiring writer should follow: live live live. To live means to break old habits, old thought patterns, old friendships and relations. If you are worried about “losing yourself” please don’t be because the point exactly is to lose yourself in something new. Everything that you are leaving behind is actually still with you, as it is part of your memory, part of your being, part of what made you who you are up to one point in time.

Old habits, old concepts

To break old habits means to break your concepts of whatever opinions, convictions and perceptions you have that form your awareness of the world. So if you have reserves about working an odd job, reconsider what makes you think that way. Could you imagine yourself working as a street sweep? Do you want to be a writer? Then become a street sweep and see the world through a whole new radius of perceptions. Whatever job you take, whatever occupation you have will lead to new people, new stories, new so to say “friction” between you and your world. But that is just a harmless idea to get you thinking about different challenges and opportunities that exist out there.

Reconfiguring the World in Your Head

Everything that you see and do, and everything who you know or have known, can be given a new name and new personality. The essence of things remains but you are giving them a new face and that gives the freedom to expand and go to bigger depths. So when you are facing the challenge of building a character, think of all the people whom you have met, that is, the people and what made them.

Read up

Reading the books of others can be injurious to your own writing. You may get sidetracked from the idea at hand that you need to put down on paper but you can’t because you are parsing the sentences of another person. That may in turn compel you to parse your own writing and you may go on an infinite adventure of arranging and rearranging and looking for the “perfect stab”. Why not quit reading for awhile? Let your mind cruise the infinite waters of the world that we inhabit, so that you may discover possibilities for new feelings and new states of mind, not necessarily of your own.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *