Writing Tip: Keep those words flowing

From “The man who can’t stop writing” written by Ruel S. De Vera for the Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Write Stuff

Prolific and versatile wordsmith Ed Maranan on how to keep those ideas going and your words flowing

1. Be aware of, and be sensitive to, what is happening in your country and in the world. Read up on the themes and issues of our times: the environment and climate change, poverty and development, crime and conflict, politics and corruption, etc. This means reading the dailies, listening to the radio, watching the news and commentaries to stock up on materials for your writing.

2. Keep a journal or a diary that record your thoughts and ideas. Jot down notes, observations about life, impressions of places and people you meet, and reactions to day-to-day events. Again, they can become the source of future writing projects.

3. Read as often and as diversely as possible: literature and the arts, science and social science, articles and reviews. Less expensive is browsing the web for literature and history websites.

4. Write something every day, wherever you are. It could be a six-word, 55-word, 100-word short story (there are actually websites and competitions for these variant forms!), a short essay commenting on the issue of the day, or a short poem (a haiku or a tanaga). Re-read and revise what you have written. If you write in English, check out  manuals on writing good prose by Jose Carillo, Jose Dalisay, Cristina Hidalgo and other authors.

5. Do any or all of the following: join a writing workshop or a writers’ group, show your written work to friends, relatives or teachers and ask for their critique. Cross-register or audit in creative writing, literary history and theory classes, start a blog where your creative output can be read and judged by the public, participate in poetry readings and yes, you can put to the test what you’ve written by joining a literary competition: the Carlos Palanca, the Free Press and the Graphic, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, among many others.

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