World-class writing from everyday moments and the word business

The Yellow Gang / Orange Farm Ext. 6B | Image: @iThembaJay

So, I am having my writing be inspired by everything around me.

Case in point: the image above could inspire a short story. And the story needn’t get published — it might as well be a practice short story; written up, read up and promptly shredded.

World class athletes train and get sharp with each session. What’s stopping a young Writer ekasi somewhere from getting to that level?

The Business of Many Words

For a long time now, the notion that writing isn’t a worthwhile pursuit is a big problem.

The interesting thing then is that words . . . words are everywhere you look. Inasmuch as design and typography are everywhere you cast your eyes.

Written another way: I hate hearing that writing has no money. Of course, I am aware, that it doesn’t hold money where it used to when, for instance, the printing press was still running rampant.

Side note: I have come to learn and appreciate that business follows life-style. The way society is set up determines how businesses and freelancers offer what they offer.

My thinking is that children who enjoy writing ought to be taught about the mechanics of putting words together — help them discover processes to marry to their work, to better it, if you will — and then, initiate them around matters of how much words are worth and how they are priced. The last bit, exposure to the marriage of writing and finance, is crucial as it helps a young Wordsmith begin thinking around their own rates and the value of their skill to direct words.

Now, see how this all poetically comes together: when a Writer starts considering the value of their skill, they then get to also think about the purpose of the words. Are they to sell products? Is it a political campaign geared toward selling hope and a bright future? Or perhaps, the aim might be to tug at heart strings and emotions and have the audience not forget how the words made them feel.

The things I tend to think about things as: What is my value as a Writer to a small business whose Facebook Page I manage? What about my wordvalue to a multi-national business? To an individual looking for my word slinging expertise so they could — ahem! — sell themselves?

It’s all fascinating to go through and learn.

Also, when it’s all written and done, a wordsmith has to find themselves a way to provide some shreds of value through their writing or whatever else they are talented at. (Example: I am also decent at connecting dots, developing stories and ultimately, strategy making and development. So, the practice gels well when I consult through those skills and have the core skill writing as a foundation.)

Everyday Moments (as banal as they may seem) Hold Magic

Even more impressive is the availability of devices to use to make riveting stories. With a combination of a cellphone and curioisty, I could write about how nature (specifically animals) have inspired design for the past century.

So, that on its own sends me researching design marvels inspired by nature and what might I find?

A BMW model whose entire front is reminiscent of a snake — anaconda; Volkswagen modeled a bug and created a classical car — their recent face-lifted bug is a beauty; how about a kettle whose flawless glass body represents transparency as a virtue?

Side note: we are given everything to be great as human beings.

Just whirl around a few times, looking more intently with each gaze and you’ll start to see patterns emerging.

My final point is around the need to have Writers from hungry neighbourhoods in South Africa polish up their skill to a point where the writing catches up to the level of the kids who’ve walked about the halls of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences for a few years.

I figure, paying attention to everyday moments might just be what you need to get you going.