Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Writing for business; how to stop it boring your readers

How many exercise DVDs do you have sitting on your shelf unused?

1, 2, 20? My favourites are a yoga and a pilates exercise plans. And yes before you ask me I do use them. Some of the time. In our house we have an expression, ‘Eileen’s Darceying’ because I use a plan fronted by the wonderful ballet dancer Darcey Bussell.

I have this dream that one day I will get my leg as high as she can but it is a dream. And I use this and other dvds only a part of the time. My sticking time seems to be 3 months. Then after that the appeal wears off and I have to try something else.

Maybe you’re more disciplined than I am and if so I applaud you. But if not then I invite you to join the ‘I want to but club’

Why don’t we use them? Especially when we can see the results because I can and I’m sure so can you. But let’s be honest, we all get stuck into ruts in what we do whether it’s exercise, writing or any other activity.

That’s why it’s good to have a mixed programme. Like me with my exercises. I’ve worked out that if I use the Darcey programme 1 week in 3 and the yoga and another pilates programme the same ratio, it has 3 effects:
It stops the boredom.
It offers me different lengths of exercise period.
It exercises different muscles and parts of my body.

What might happen if we were to transfer this system to writing? If we write always from the same point of view won't we always come out with the same style of writing?

This holiday I’ve read short stories by Neil Gaiman called Fragile Things. In the introduction to the collection he explains how the stories started with all the different reasons and influences. His stories could be described as strange but what if you took the chains off your writing like he does?

It probably sounds daft but something as simple as changing your writing position can shift your perspective. What about that street scene that you couldn’t see before? Where are the people going and what is in their mind as they do it? Murder, love or resentment?

Immediately you might have the beginnings of 3 different stories and endings.

Or if you’re writing from a business viewpoint, imagine what needs those people have and if you were sitting next to them, how the conversation might go.

What qualities would creep… or explode into your writing that don’t now figure? How would that advance your writing and change your whole writing experience?

Feel free to comment on what you’d like to include this year but are uncertain about.

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