January 15, 2020

Do you want to Write? Learn from Great Models

By Delores Topliff

You want to write. People say you have a gift, but you’re not sure where to start. You’ve written a few things but haven’t hit your stride or quite found your voice.

Try this strategy.
Ask yourself what you like to read the best? When you enter libraries or bookstores, which section do you find first? Which authors say or describe things the way you want to? It’s not cheating to learn from them—in fact, it’s smart.

List the authors, books, and voices you especially like. Identify what you love most about your favorites. Which of their attributes fit your life and voice? Jot them down to observe what works best. Learn from good models but perfect your unique skills. It’s like going into a clothing store and trying on different outfits until you find the style that suits you.

In painting and sculpture, Italy’s Michelangelo is considered the greatest artist of all time. As a boy, he went to Florence to study grammar rules and composition, but his interest and skill for art and drawing was visible by the time he turned ten. At age twelve, he studied with the sculptor, Donatello. By thirteen, he apprenticed to Florence’s most accomplished painter, Ghirlandaio. He learned their principles, acquiring skills and technique from each of them, but then took them further. Michelangelo learned from the greats and then surpassed them.

Fill a notebook with adjectives, terms, and descriptors that you love, that you think cannot be improved on. Try out your version of them in your daily speech and writing. Identify the parts that work well and let them become comfortable to you. You will discover your voice.

How do you move from a starting point to writing stories and full-length books? American author and humorist, Mark Twain, said about writing and life, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

What will you start today? Write down a few words every daily. Even if they need editing, keep them.
When you do, you’ll move miles closer to accomplishing your goals. See how much you can accomplish in the coming week.

And happy writing!
Visit Delores Topliff and her blog posts and books and CD page at Find and like her Facebook Author page at Delores Topliff Books. Her beautifully illustrated children’s books include Whoosh a true story, Woodsy, the Wonder Bear, and two rhymed children’s adventures, Little Big Chief: The Bear Hunt and Little Chief and Ogopogo (based on an often-observed North American deep-lake creature like the Loch Ness monster). Order now in time for Christmas.Her true stories appear in Revell, Bethany House, and Guideposts compilation books. Her agent, Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, is marketing two historic novels while Delores completes a true travelogue proving it’s possible to have fun and travel safely even in grandma years. In fact, travel is Delores’s favorite form of learning.

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