May 17, 2013

The Gift of Writing Comes From Inside

By Peter B Forster

‘Oh I have always been a writer. All my life I have snatched words out of the air. Even as I woke in the morning my first thought would be to catch their bright burning flame, wield a pen like a branding iron and scorch them deep into a sheet of velum. The pain of the world writ large in raw hide…’ How many times have you heard that kind of pretentious twaddle from a writer?

When I was asked to provide an original piece of work for the magazine and one that might provide some useful insights about the process of writing to the readership I was stumped. Words usually pour out. They jump and bubble. I let them go and watch as they dance around the page like a row of chorus girls. I have never experienced the dreaded yips. Or the cold hollow whistle of an empty head. But that is because I think the gift of writing is within us all. It is not a unique talent; there is no magical formula. All you need to do is write down your thoughts. We all have them and it is as easy as that.

Of course that is pretentious twaddle as well because if it was easy then anybody could do it and if it was true we would all be bashing out books all day long.
‘Oh I’ve always thought I would write a book one day…’

How many times have we heard that? Of course every single person on this planet has a story. And everybody thinks they can write it down.
But they don’t, do they and why not?

It is easy to say creative writing takes discipline and hard work, but that goes without saying. If we all have the gift then anybody can sit down with a lap top. With the press of a button the flood gates are opened and the words just spill out. It is as easy as ABC. But if that is true what makes the difference between words that dribble out with the graceless hum of a splattered cowpat and those that slip off the tongue with a lyrical roll and move with a rhythm that captures the imagination?  I think it is personality. If a writer can harness their own unique personality and transfer it on to the page then the words come to life. They have a personality, power and majesty all of their own.

Well maybe, possibly, perhaps.
Peter is a consulting Counseling Psychologist in a busy East London community health setting. He has published in academic works and provided chapters in books for counselors’’ psychologists and psychotherapists he nurtures a love of and talent for creative writing. He attends writer’s workshops, written and performed poetry as well as provided lyrics for jobbing musicians. Currently he is fulfilling his ambition to write full length fiction novel. Peter’s academic work can be found in Tribe and Morrissey (eds) Handbook of Professional and Ethical Practice for Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Brunner-Routledge (2005) web:   twitter: @peterbforster


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