A PEN FOR YOUR THOUGHTS..an old article in the Young World

Most of us think that writing an article is a very difficult task. I also had the same opinion, that is, until I decided to try my hand on it.

It is true that some people have a natural talent for writing. They can raise their pen on any given topic and express themselves beautifully, while others have to struggle with words to make their concepts clear. But creative writing is not as complex as we think it to be. We only need to have an idea about the required guidelines and keep on practicing, because we all know that practice makes a man perfect.

To create a good piece of writing, you must first choose your area of interest. You are bound to write better on topics which are appealing for you. Use a very catchy title, one which draws attention as well as gives the reader an idea about what you want to write about. You can also choose your title or heading after you have finished writing as it is only then that you will have an idea of what you have produced with your pen.

Organise your thoughts and pen down the facts you already know. For further information, check out on the internet, but be sure to surf more than one website. By browsing on different websites you will be able to find out which one has more authentic facts and figures.

If your school has a library or you have an access to one in your neighbourhood, you can also read books on the relevant topic and note down important information. To be a good writer, you must cultivate a reading habit. Reading a lot keeps you more informed, improves your vocabulary as well as gives you new ideas about writing.

Keep a pen and paper handy, even by your side when you go to bed. Ideas and notions often come in a flash in the most unexpected moments. Don’t rely on your memory, as these ideas may slip away as easily.

Sometimes we grope for subjects to write about, so when inspiration strikes, scribble it quickly in your notebook. You can also make a list of topics you want to write about and then keep working on them.

Give time to your idea. It is not always advisable to start writing as soon as you chose a topic. Think about it for a few days and keeping noting the supporting points which come to your mind. In this way you will not struggle to complete a piece after you have started it.

Reread an article many times before you send it to a publication. Often, we tend to overlook small spelling or grammar mistakes. Rearranging or adding a few words here and there may add to the value of your writing. According to Mark Twain, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you
begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say!”

Every article should be divided into three distinct parts. Start with a good introduction, so that the reader can understand what you are writing about. Remember that the first few sentences are very important. If your opening is interesting, the reader would like to continue, but if it is dull and drab, he would skip it and move on to some other story in the magazine.

The middle part of an article usually gives information and facts and figures about the topic you have chosen. The conclusion should be interesting as you logically wind up your article in a way that the reader can understand your point of view and relate to it.

Keep your word count under control and try to be precise! Repetition always tends to bore and sometimes even irritate, so try to get your point through in a crisp manner.

Keep your language simple. A short article written in simple language is more interesting than a long one in which you have used difficult language and uncommon words. Remember that no one likes to reach out for a dictionary while reading, because it breaks the tempo and pace of the topic.

Let your imagination go wild! Experiment by using different styles until you develop a distinct style which becomes your identity. There will be times when you feel stuck and are unable to finish a piece you have started. Instead of trying to force words and thinking hard, just do something that you find refreshing. Go for a walk, play your favourite game
or just relax for a while. More often than not, you will find fresh ideas rushing to your mind.

Use quotes by famous authors or relevant persons. They add to the value of a piece of writing.

You can start your writing career by contributing for your school magazine and then go on to the children’s magazines of most newspapers. Don’t be disheartened if your writings are rejected. You may not succeed in the beginning but hard work and perseverance eventually pays. A winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, short story writer Isaac Bashevis Singer says, “The waste basket is a writer’s best friend”.

A writer who chooses to remain anonymous, says, “The best compliment I have received is from a fan who said, Once I start reading your article, it is difficult for me to put it down before I reach the last word”.

This, in my opinion, is the best description yet for a good piece of writing.