I was on assignment in Stockholm last week and looking for an idea.
We obsess, as writers, about the words. We analyse the craft and devour books about the technique.
Writing in the Guardian recently, the columnist Ian Jack discussed the perennial question: can writing be taught?
He suggests that, while we can study templates and consult with experts, nothing beats the age-old concept of practise. He says:
Writing is like riding a bicycle: its techniques are best not dwelt on.
For me, it’s about the ideas.
If the ideas are poor then, no matter how erudite the words, then the writing will not shine.
If there’s no angle, no hook, no reason to grab the attention of the reader, then it’s just more words on a page. And we have enough of those already.
The writer David Quantick says ideas are gold.
In his book, How to Write Everything, he describes the craft of coming up with good ideas as even more crucial than the craft of writing itself.
A good idea is simply one that inspires something you are capable of writing, something that might sustain.
But can we learn to have good ideas?
We’ll consider this at the next #WriteHereWriteNow meeting.
As for me, wandering around Stockholm in search of a good story?
Well, let’s just say a visit to the Abba Museum [pictured above] and a night at the Pop House music-themed hotel may just make a Scandi-pop story about Eurovision-crazy Sweden.
Thank you for the music.
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