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May This Help And Encourage You Greatly In Your Writer's Circle
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Being willing to share what has been gleaned, gathered, and garnered over the years is important.
Why should what has been learned from so many reliable sources be kept to myself? Everything is for sharing.
When asked if one would be willing to come and speak and teach and share at our Writer's Retreat or Writer's Conference or Writer's meeting, and it need not necessarily be writers, but to share at some other group, the reply has shocked the organisers.
Yes, it would be a privilege and joy to attend and be present and share what is for sharing but no fee! It should be mentioned that expenses are required, but that is all.
Some are aghast at that, but why? Why should there be a charge for what you have freely learned from other over a span of thirty years or so? Why should there be a financial fee for what one was taught at University and taught to the very highest standards? There was no sloppiness in these days, at Edinburgh. Essays were essays, and had to be written in the best possible English and presented on time. One never considered the possibility of handing in the article late.
Having been writing a weekly newspaper column for over thirteen years now, it is interesting to look back and reflect.
Styles have changed as the months and seasons passed, but the piece still has to be written and has to be in the hands of the Editor in good time.
Every six weeks or so, six daily comments have been submitted to our national newspaper, and that has been ongoing for thirty years.
The question may arise about what happens when three or four weeks are spent speaking and teaching in Uganda and Kenya. These articles have always been written in advance, and dated, to make things as easy as possible for the Editor.
There is one secret in writing. Make things easy for the Editor.
Articles on travelling around Kenya are longer and fairly detailed, and it is essential to have something fresh to share with your readers and that is where note taking is crucial, when visiting cities, villages, slums, prisons, and even airports. People want to hear you say something different at the Teaching Seminars and they also wish to read your account from a unique angle. There is always that perspective, or smell, or view, or conversation, or experience, which readers want to read. Always!
If you seek to make things easy for the Editor and there is nothing wrong with that, do continue to remember that writing is hard work.
Seldom is it easy to prepare a 300 word article, but that is where sheer discipline comes in. That is also where your notebook comes in! It is so obvious, but people will return from visits to other countries or states and wish they could remember what was said where and why. If it is written down, then you can refer to it, and it will remain authentic and accurate.
Over and above this writing aspect, there have been two addresses to prepare each week and usually a full manuscript is prepared. Occasionally, when invited to address a group, where the topic is familiar, a few headings will suffice, and that is where illustrations are highly relevant.
People are interested in people, and people are interested in stories, and people can learn from the experience of those who have been down the road before them.
The big questions remain. How do you do this? Can it be taught? Yes, of course it can be taught. Raw talent can be honed and polished and developed, and can be done comparatively easily.
Is this word 'easy' and 'easily' being used too often? Well, it is written with the intention of encouraging you in your writing career.
May this help you in your writer's circle and at your next writer's retreat!
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