Waiting For A Train: Part 2

waiting-for-the-train-1504430-639x852The second habit of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to start with the end in mind.

There is much debate with writers around how effective this process can be. In his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King details how he starts a book with only the first line in mind. He creates the first draft with the ending developing as he works through it. Agatha Christie didn’t know the ending of some of her books until she had reached the last chapter. Alternatively, there are numerous writers who plan and progress their work with military precision, with the end always in mind.

Whether you are a planner, or a go with the flow writer, the shared commonality is that every piece of work has an ending. The question posed is could your writing be different if you started at the end?

There are numerous writing resources providing writing prompts to assist writers. What if you used that prompt as the beginning of a piece of work and then rewrote the piece with the prompt as an ending. In effect writing it backwards.

When I worked as a police officer a similar technique was used to retrieve information

A New Year’s Revolution

fireworks-1185478-640x480I have just finished my first book of 2016, the excellent, You are a Writer, (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.

It wasn’t on my planned reading list, but as Jeff was offering it for 99p, a fact that appealed to the Northerner in me, I bought it. The book provided a welcome break from the pop psychology, around New Year’s resolutions, I’ve ploughed through over the past few days.

New Year’s resolutions are alien to me. I don’t make them. My brain doesn’t like the negativity connected to them.

Alien Childhood

Phew! that’s the first exercise completed.

The brief was to make notes of a dream, and re-write them so that each phrase is placed on a new line.

For some reason dreams never seem to stick in my memory so I wrote about a recurring dream I had as a child. In summary, the dream involved confronting aliens on the upstairs landing of my childhood home. The only way to escape from them was to jump from the top stair down. I never ever reached the bottom of the stairs, going into free-fall until the moment I suddenly woke up.

After redrafting the piece three times, I have ended up with the following;

And the journey begins.

It has only taken thirty plus years osand-768783_1280f focused pondering, but I have finally taken the first step and I am  on the journey to, hopefully, becoming a published writer.

The course materials have arrived and I have had my first contact with my tutor. I am also now a fully fledged member of the National Union of Students (NUS) and looking forward to my first discounts at Pizza and Vision Express and attending another CND march (do they still exist?). The only thing left to do now  is to start planning the next five to seven years of hard work.