Prerequisites of Being A Writer by Jasper Ezekiel
This week’s featured article is from my editorial assistant and creative entrepreneur trainee, Jasper Ezekiel.
Jasper is a poet and fantasy novelist.
Why have I been sharing articles about getting ready for NaNoWriMo?
We love the energy of NaNoWriMo because it’s a great way to get focused on your novel, and it’s a great way to be connected to a global community of writers.
Prerequisites of Being A Writer by Jasper Ezekiel, edited by Beth Barany
The reasons that we write are as varied as our personalities, the shapes of our bodies, and the color of our eyes.
But what makes a writer different from the rest of the population who don’t identify as a writer?
What are some of the prerequisites of being a writer?
I’m here today to tell you my opinion on these things because I feel that it’s important to know some ways writers can come together in community and find common ground.
In my opinion, reading makes a writer.
When you read a lot, you learn all sorts of things about yourself and about the world around you that make it easier to write what you’re trying to write.
Reading in your genre can help you understand the tropes and even pitfalls of your own work.
Reading outside of your genre can give you a new perspective on what you’re currently writing and can help create something completely original and new.
While reading may help your writing, before we know how to write, we know how to read.
Many people begin writing because they’ve read good books and found those good books inspiring.
Personally, (Jasper here) I’ve always been a fan of horror stories and after reading some horror books aimed at children, I was having trouble sleeping at night!
So, to make good use of my time, I would stay up late and write my own horror stories to make the fear I had manageable.
Reading brings me to my next point in what makes a writer.
Curiosity is not just for the cat.
Curiosity is for everyone (but especially writers and artists of all ilk.)
Curiosity opens the doors of our soul to new information and brings us pleasure and satisfaction when we open that door to an interesting research rabbit hole online or hold an enlightening conversation with someone who’s an expert on something you’ve never heard of before.
Curiosity can be healing because knowledge is power.
Information gathering is key to being a writer because you often may be writing from perspectives that you don’t normally inhabit.
When I was in college, I took a class on Chaucer. I knew nothing about Chaucer, just that everyone seemed to hate him for many of the same reasons people hate Shakespeare.
The language is dated, the jokes don’t land.
But when I took the class and actually began to read Chaucer, I became enraptured in his language.
The meter of his words made its way deep into my head and I spent hours every day just reading and taking notes on his poetry.
By the end of that semester, I was fluently reading Middle English because of how my curiosity was so piqued on how the language of his poetry worked, sounded, and tasted..
Curiosity is one of the most important prerequisites of being a writer and can propel us to new experiences and do things like interview our neighbors, read books that aren’t familiar to us, listen to the radio at all hours of the day, take in the world with a fresh soul, or ready to be informed of something new.
Through our curiosity, we stoke fuel to flame our imagination.
Writers need imagination, but non-fiction writers need it as well.
Fiction writers need imagination to think of imaginary people who go through conflict the likes of which the world has never seen before.
Non-fiction authors need imagination so that their subjects may come across in interesting, new, and dynamic ways.
Many writers, before they start writing, find themselves lost in imaginary worlds, having conversations with imaginary people, and thinking through imaginary scenarios.
Often, these imaginary scenarios are what become our first drafts.
My Prerequisites! And yours are?
These are just a few things that, in my opinion, a prerequisite to being any kind of writer at all.
Obviously, you may have some different prerequisites that you apply to your own life.
We’d love to hear what they are! Write back to share yours. We’d love to hear.
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About Beth Barany
Beth Barany is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy novelist, and certified creativity coach for writers.
She specializes in helping writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers.
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