Why write? It’s a mystery!

Writing. It’s hard y’all! Yet there is something we can do to alleviate the stress of ‘getting it right’ and that is to plunge mightily into the depths of perfectionism, look around at our murky surroundings while we are down there, and then vow never to wallow into those muddy waters ever again.

I know I decided not to. I am an amateur, and proudly so. It is very liberating to write without keeping in mind what publishers might like. I simply don’t care.

Besides, it is the only way I would ever even contemplate writing in public – let alone write an on-the-fly NaNoWriMo ‘novel’ with the help of anyone taking the time to read and drop an opinion. (Which I totally did.)

Does this mean that my writing doesn’t need to be any good? Of course it doesn’t. Leaving aside the NaNoWriMo work that I do – or try to – do every year, I strive for some sort of acceptable standard in every piece of writing I do. To this end I did a course at the Schrijversvakschool some time ago, where I learned to build a short story. I intend to follow another writing course in due course when the Covid restrictions are gone, because I like to be in the same room with others when we are learning together. Online learning doesn’t cut it for me, I am afraid. In the mean time all I can do is practise.

Buy a book about writing.

Very excited. I bought a book about setting up a mystery novel. It is called MYSTERY, How to write traditional & cosy whodunits, and it was written by Paul Tomlinson. It is aimed not at the hard police procedure type or intricate spy novels with weapons on the cover, but the ‘cosy mystery’ genre á la Agatha Christie. Think Knives Out. It deals with all the elements of a good mystery, from characters (victim, murderer, suspects, the sleuth , the ‘Watson’, etc.) to setting, tone, plot structure, all that. Reading about how to set up a mystery is almost as exciting as actually reading a mystery!

More soon, I am sure…

What are you writing on?

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