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Plant Words and Watch Them Grow

Plant Words and Watch Them Grow

I love planting things – carefully, gently, adding plant food and water and lovely fresh soil. But then, without fail, I watch as they wither and turn grey and disintegrate.

I was heartened, therefore, to read this beautiful piece by the writer Yoojin Grace Wuertz, who acknowledges her own struggle to turn her fingers green. She gives the lovely advice that you should do what you can and then leave the rest to the flora Powers that Be: ‘I began to accept the notion that the natural world had its own rhythms and timeline that I could not change no matter how hard I pushed.’

This is where writing comes in. Like the flowers and vegetables she planted, Wuertz found that her writing needed patience, space, time and acceptance in order to grow. It could not be pushed and cajoled into life through sheer persistence.

As a writer, particularly in a world of such immediacy, it’s easy to forget that the process takes time. You can chain yourself to a desk for five hours each day and hammer out words till you hit your daily target, but ideas still need time and space in which to germinate. If you don’t balance desk time with experiencing the outside world, how else can its truths filter through into your words?

And once you’ve finished your memoir or novel or short story, of course, you need more patience. Wait as people read your work; wait for an agent or publisher to pick it up, if that is your aim; wait for your manuscript to turn into a physical book.

And then? Wait for inspiration to kick in for the next one. Because it will, like some – but not all – the seeds you plant in soil. You just need to let it.

MK

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Further Musings...

You ARE a Writer – You Just Need to Believe It

You ARE a Writer – You Just Need to Believe It

One of the major hurdles to overcome when you’re just starting to write is taking yourself seriously. Thinking ‘I am a writer’ and not shying away from that can feel almost impossibly bold. So we like going back to this article from March 2011, in which famous authors talk about the “secrets of their craft”; namely, what it is that makes a writer, and how they go about the business of writing a book …

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MS Pallister – Winner of Our NWD Competition 2017

MS Pallister – Winner of Our NWD Competition 2017

Winning piece from the National Writing Day 2017 Competition held on Twitter.

MS Pallister’s nuanced, deeply atmospheric piece of literary fiction left us with a pervading sense of both nostalgia and foreboding. It forms the opening of her unpublished novel. Read the extract here.

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Writing: The Loneliest Art Form?

Writing: The Loneliest Art Form?

‘Writing, at its best, is a lonely life,’ said Hemingway – and for many writers that is true. Some great authors have, at least openly, courted solitude: Lord Byron flamboyantly stated, ‘I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.’ (We challenge you not to read that in a hammy Louisianan accent. We’ve tried, and we cannot do it.) The potential loneliness of writing is multifold …

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Apply now for the Ink Academy Writing Course

Applying to the Ink Academy Writing Course is quick and simple. Just upload a sample of your writing below, along with your name and email address, and we will be in touch with enrolment details.

The sample of your writing does not need to be polished or perfect, or even from the work you want to develop on the course. It is just so that we can ensure our course is best placed to help you. For more details, please see our FAQs.

Upload 1,000-5,000 words of your writing here: