• Sarah E Waring

Whatever you do in the world, there will always be someone who claims to be the most experienced in their field. These people can either be a godsend, or someone that can knock your confidence right back to square one.


In the writing field, these people can be very much in the public eye as most writers will take to writing online and publicly, in some form. What I want to highlight today, first and foremost, (before we go into my new 'list') ,is that there are no RULES in creative writing. If you are watching someone online, ranting about how good they are, without any merit, avoid like the plague.


In my experience, ranting writing forums will not help you gain credibility, but will leave you feeling pretty frustrated.


In creative writing, there are only guidelines and tips to help you, as a writer, to offer the best literature for your readers. Take guidance from a few and from people with similar writing goals and credibility. That would be my humble advice.


10 Creative Writing Myths


  1. You have to be good at editing to be a creative writer - Not true. You can hire a professional for editing if need be. Creative writing is about the imagination. No editor can produce what you have in YOUR imagination, but they can help you to look more professional with any published literature. The exception, of course, would be if you wanted a job as a freelance/employed writer eg; editor, journalist etc, then use you would need to have good grammatical skills too.

  2. I don't need an editor as I passed my GCSE in English 10 years ago - You don't necessarily need an editor, but you may need to brush up on your skills. Grammar is always changing, grammar 'rules' are a lot different now than what they were, 10, 20... 30 years ago! Basic grammar rules, I admit, will probably never change, but style and presentation may. You have to stay up to speed. However the beauty of creative writing is that rules are there to be broken and, as above, if you are not comfortable with doing it, bring in the professionals ! Just make sure your grammar is suitable for your audience! 

  3. You have to have qualifications to be a creative writer - Not necessarily. If you are applying for a job as a journalist, lets say, it may be a requirement. However if you are aiming to produce your own works, then experiment. There is lots of stuff online where you can learn guidelines for free! Practice, practice and more practice will create an abundance of creativity.

  4. Creative writing qualifications will not get you a career -In continuation of the point above, it is a myth that creative writing is a flimsy qualification, but creative writing qualifications are hugely popular in different careers such as journalism, marketing and blogging. It also looks good when submitting books to publishers as they want to know your experience/qualifications.

  5. Creative writing is academic - Creative writing is not always seen as academic as it is set to trigger the imagination, not to necessarily educate as such! You can educate in a creative writing style however.

  6. You should read a lot to be a good creative writer - Yes... no...maybe. This statement is a little too misguided and should have a grey area. In fact it should say 'You should absorb a lot of literature to be a good writer.' Remember, there are some great authors out there who are blind, dyslexic or may suffer from offer learning difficulties. Literature in this day an age can be absorbed through audio books very successfully. 

  7. It doesn't matter how good you are, to be a successful writer, you need luck - Unfortunately, yes, and a lot of perseverance. You cannot simply write a book/article and expect it to be successful without anything else added. Yes, you need a dash of luck and you need opportunity because a book/article is not going to publicise itself. BUT you also need good content when it strikes. No point in having good luck if people are not going to like your content. Many best sellers are ridiculed for their poor writing quality, but they will have a niche and a 'hook' that is attractive. That has a huge part to play in creative writing. So, write, come up with a marketing strategy, then strike when the opportunity hits.

  8. You need to write in inspiring places like coffee shops - Only if it helps YOU. Everyone is different, some people work with music for example, some people don't. Some people like to go to an inspiring place, whilst others prefer sitting at home at the kitchen table.

  9. Creative writers should ignore bad reviews - No you shouldn't, because you need to find out what the patterns are. Spammers and general mischief makers will start to become familiar over time, and other bad reviews may help you to write better. But always remember, sometimes people can be harsh if your work is just not to their taste.

  10. Creative writing skills are different to academic writing - Yes ... and no. Academic writing adheres to strict style parameters whereas creative writing does not. However, all writing skill sets should employ the ability to phrase words attractively to suit their audience.



About me - I'm Sarah, I am a self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy BA

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  • Sarah E Waring

The Empress Returns


PROLOGUE


I remember that fateful August day like it was yesterday. I was sprawled out on my bed getting increasingly pissed off at the sun for creeping in through a gap in the curtains. Staring at the ceiling, I’d been lying there for quite some time. I remember absorbing the smell of flowers from that god-awful washing powder my mother used and thinking about how it was sweet and overpowering, yet it reminded me of my home.


A bit sad, but I found it quite comforting.


Never in a million years would I have imagined the sequence of events that would follow that day, and nor could I have prepared for the roller-coaster of emotions it would bring.


My name is Lewis, and this is where my story began.


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https://www.sarahewaring.com/novels


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Remember the story of Dorian Gray? The immortal who had an old painting in his attic? If not, let me refresh your memory.


Dorian Gray is a fictional character created by Oscar Wilde, in his story fittingly named

...Dorian Gray.


Gray is a self indulged character that decides to sell his soul for an eternal life of youth. In exchange, he keeps in his attic a portrait that ages, instead of him.


The relevance of this post to this story is simple. Dorian Gray does not suffer from the effects of ageing, so he LOOKS and acts without any affects ageing has on a SUPERFICIAL level. Please bear this in mind for a short while whilst we compare this with the more mortal version of 'self', i.e the human race.


So, it is inevitable that over time our faces will become less firm, our skin tone will dull, our hair will thin and our physiques will start to change ... sorry if that is depressing, but we cannot get away from ageing - we know from history and observation that we cannot escape it like Dorian Grey did. Unless you believe you can sell your soul to the devil. (I will touch on this, briefly, later)


Assuming we cannot defeat the affects of ageing, are we the same person if we look the same as we did 20/30 years ago say?


There maybe some scenario's that suggest we are not (on a superficial level) the same person. In this instance we are looking at 'self' on a physical make up- a forensic make up of matter. Take a model for example. What you may have done in a modelling career 20 years ago, would have changed due to what the recruiters are looking for in the appearance. Outwardly, we are no way the same person, but inwardly may be different story.


Now lets take a look at how the body in his material, physical form can mean we are same person as we were 20 years ago.


We have all watched crime productions where the murderer gets sloppy, leaves their DNA lying around and the intelligent cops catch them and lock them up for a long time with their evidence. Doesn't matter if that crime happened 20 years ago or one year ago ... if that DNA matches, the crime is done by that SAME person. Right?


Well, maybe there is another side where we flip the tables a little. Remember my last post about 'Do you have a soul?' If not, you could read it here:


Do we have a soul?


Basically I touched briefly on the idea the 'self' could be identified in different ways.

For this next bit, I would like you to consider how our 'self' is made up of an 'inner self', something immaterial. The psychology, if you like.


Here are some examples of how the 'self' may change on an immaterial basis using the theories of dual personalities like Sigmund Freud used. I don't mean multiple personalities here, I mean in the philosophical sense that our 'self' is made up of hidden memories and thoughts - obviously that is the short version, but you get my drift.


Are we the same person if:


  • We are intoxicated

  • We have dementia/brain injury or other neurological condition


If this is the case ... would it be considered that you were the same person if the above was now reality? How should, or does this affect any action you take in that persona? Guilty of a crime or battling a moral dilemma for example.


So far we have compared two different perspectives, but what about if we add another to the mix ? What if we had a floating soul that makes up our self? A soul that can transfer through to an afterlife that does not need a body to exist . Would this mean our 'self' is the same person in the following situations?


  • A past life (Karma?)

  • A hideous crime (an act of the devil?)

If you are interested in this theory then do check out philosopher John Locke.

Finally there is one more I would like you consider. If you have read my last blog, the one I pointed out above, you will see I have taken on three different perspectives on the 'self', one being a perspective from David Hume, an 18th/19th century philosopher.


I would like to add a little about David Hume's perspective. I am fascinated about his theories because they are so different and so thought provoking.


His view would be that an unchanging immaterial soul, a substance as described by philosopher John Locke , is not credible due to it being based on a false premise- I.e, does god even exist? There is no 'self' in Hume's mind as he believed that we are bundle of experiences and impressions (again please see last post). So, no real example to be had here, other than it may well be irrelevant ... as the self does not really exist!


Thoughts?


Image source



About me - I'm Sarah, I am a self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy.

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