This is the beginning of a new book, "Write Up There With The Best", by Dee Shipman & Paul Jacobs. We are serialising the book on this web-site for the next few months, starting now with the Introduction.........'
Most of the way back along the A 303 from Dorset I had my eyes closed (Paul was driving!). And most of the time I wasn’t sleeping, I was re-playing the day, in my head.
We had spent three hours with Fay Weldon, one of our most successful and original
writers, talking to her about, what else?, how does she write?
She’d been a delightful host, in her beautiful Georgian house, and was extremely open and generous in sharing with us the ‘inside story’ of her creativity.
And then she suddenly said, “A writer can always tell another writer as soon as they see them”. We asked what she meant. “Well”, she replied, “you just have to look at Dee for example, to know she’s a writer”. “How do you do that?” “I don’t know; you just know”. “What about me?” Paul asked. Fay looked at him consideringly and then said, “No, I don’t think so”.
And at that moment she was right…he has for years been running a belief that he can’t write, and is intrigued by those who can. In fact the idea for this book came from him.
So how did Fay do that? What was she sensing that gave her that information? This was one of the things I continued to turn over in my mind as we drove home.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that Fay had touched on one of the bottom-line questions which were the reasons for this book:-
- Who and what is a writer?
- What makes them able to write?
- Why do they do it?
- How do they do it?
- Are all the best writers’ strategies alike, or what are the differences that make the difference?
- Do they have similar values and beliefs about themselves, about what they do?
- What are their skills, where and when do they write best?
- Who are they when they’re writing? And when they’re not!
And most important of all…..having discovered and defined the strategies of the successful writers we interviewed for this book, we want to enable everyone to map these strategies across, to help those who CAN’T, become those who CAN!
As I said, that’s what triggered this book in the first place. Paul had wanted to write; as you are about to read, he had invited me to model, for his Life Enhancement and Excellence Potential group, how I did it; and subsequently, as we worked together, as co-trainers and life coaches, he’d ask me questions about the actual process of writing. He also made me realise that he wasn’t the only one who would like to know…it seemed that everyone I met, when they heard I was a writer, would say “Oh I’ve always wanted to write!”
It’s almost as if anyone who’d ever read a book wanted to know how it was done!
It was something I hadn’t consciously thought about. I’ve written since I was four years old: from the moment I could read, I could write. I thought everyone did. It was something I felt compelled to do….when thoughts and feelings became too much to contain in my head I HAD to put them down on paper. That way my mind “had room to breathe”; and the information wouldn’t get forgotten, and could be shared.