Title: WRITING TO EXCEL Author: Arthur Zulu Contact Author: mailto: email@example.com Copyright: Copyright © Arthur Zulu 2002 Word Count: 600 Web Address: http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/10975
Publishing Guidelines: Permission is granted to publish this article electronically or in print as long as bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
WRITING TO EXCEL By Arthur Zulu
“Of all arts in which mind excel”, says one writer, “nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well”. But before we begin writing our best seller, I will ask you to re- read beginning of this book. Or do you still remember those negative questions often asked by novices?
Well, I would want to assume you have outlived “nattering nabobs of negativism” (by Spiro Agnew), and are now set to write. Some, however, have asked following questions, and answers will help you get started.
What Do I Need to Write? Simple. Use traditional materials –- pen and paper. I prefer them. The reason is that it is easier for me to put my thoughts in writing as fast as they come. It makes work more natural, honest and unpretentious. And you also know that a notebook and a pen, are very portable. You could be doing your thing while seated in a bus, train, or plane (without terrorists).
But if you can type as fast as you think, a typewriter or even computer is okay. So, what is sauce for goose, may not be sauce for gander. The important thing here is, use a writing means that can get your thought down as fast as it comes. Shorthand and pictographs are excellent.
What is Best Time and Place to Write? You know what is best for you. Some write in morning, others prefer late at night. Some like quiet, lonely places, while others would not mind radio on! Some have even tried to rouse their imagination through drugs and alcohol! And they say it works fine for them.
Well, I don’t require any intoxicants to write. And I wouldn’t ask you to take them in order to excel. What you need, however, is a conducive place and time. As for me, I write anywhere, anytime I get muse.
You would have to know that muses transcend borders and physical disabilities. Some have written books in prison-- ask Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate. He did one in prison, titled THE MAN DIED.
What About Sources? “Writing is thinking, and thinking is work,” says Robert Bolt who wrote A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Yes, you are going to think-- think a lot. You will go into meditation and see “visions”, (I don’t mean to make you a prophet.)
Now, do you know how Mary Shelley came to write FRANKENSTEIN? She was holidaying in Switzerland with her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet Lord Byron and another named Polidori. After familiarizing themselves with ghost stories, Lord Byron came up with proposition: “We will each write a ghost story”.
Then each went to dream dreams, and Mary Shelley thought that to excel, she had to dream up scariest story ever. And she beat them all with FRANKENSTEIN, weirdest story before HARRY PORTER. Even Joseph, dreamer, couldn’t have dreamt better. And her story became a classic!
So, having chosen genre you want to write about, think of best- selling book in that category. And aim to smash its record! Persevere in your dream, and when it has taken form, put it down in writing.
But you cannot dream in abstraction. Your first source of material is reading. Yes, be a voracious reader. You may read for pleasure, or on purpose. Read anything that interests you –- newspapers, magazines, story, and scientific books.