How To Start Writing

September 1, 2014


Anyone who has either experienced cancer personally or had a close relative or friend to whom they’ve provided support, knows that the first few days can be a whirlwind.

Not only do you have to come to terms with the news but you have to be organised as the days ahead are filled with appointments; attending meetings with doctors and specialists, having numerous tests and scans and sometimes dealing with the relentless questions from family and friends.

So it was that in late 2005 I started to carry a little notepad with reminders of where to be on what particular day and taking notes of the latest updates.

At the end of an eighteen months period, the notepad was full but so was my head.

The emotional rollercoaster continued and I wanted to get off.

So I began what I assumed would be purely a cathartic process; putting all the notes into a diary format with the intention that it be available for immediate family to refer to in the years to come.

Some close friends, aware of the events during the period in question, expressed an interest in reading the early drafts and suggested that I make it available to a wider audience.

Their rationale being that others in similar situations may find solace from my personal story.

I took the suggestion seriously but knew I would need to make some improvements for grammatical reasons.

This took longer than I envisaged because, each time I started to read and edit I realised that I was still dealing with some strong personal emotions and everything had to be put on hold until the next time.

Eventually “Operation Semi Colon” was completed.

A literarary masterpiece it is not, nor was it ever an attempt to write “The Great Novel”.

It is a story, shared in a simple way for the reader to take away whatever they want or need from it.

But an important note is that, although some of the events may be viewed as dramatic, everything mentioned happened according to my recollections; nothing has been added for the sake of “artistic licence”.

If you are considering writing, whether it be for your own amusement or to share ┬áresults with others, start with something you know well – yourself!

Think of an event or a series of events and just write.

You can hone your skills as you go along but develop a regular habit and see where it takes you.

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