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Difficult aspects of writing – starting and ending

Two difficult aspects associated with writing have preoccupied my thoughts lately: first, finding the time and inspiration to begin, and second, knowing when to end a story.

Lately, I’ve been alone quite a lot, and therefore ‘thinking story’ quite a lot. Having simplified my existence – not having much to do and not trying to do too much – I’ve found that writing is the main activity I want to engage in more and more.

It’s having time, more than anything else, which has helped me realise this. You could say I’ve been isolating myself a bit too much – and perhaps I have been. Yet it’s what I needed to do in order to calm myself, to get some writing done. Not having too much to do has been the answer.

Endings can be tricky in any situation, in life and in writing; they often present problems. How much to say without boring a reader or leading them down a path they don’t wish to follow? There’s a limit to how long you can make someone hold on before letting them off the hook. Chapters are there for a reason. Some writers seem to know instinctively when a chapter should end and it feels right to the reader. Other storytellers go on too long and readers become impatient, eager to move to the next part of the story.

As in story, so in life. For myself, both the impulse to begin a story and the point where it should end present a challenge. Usually something happens internally to myself as a writer: a shift in my unconscious world so that then something happens externally, an incident, or a chance encounter perhaps, that prompts a beginning and ultimately an ending.

To keep writing and to practise experimentation is the way forward for me.

Meg Mooney

Copyright: text Meg Mooney; photos Wix.

This SSOA blog is made possible through assistance from City of Sydney.



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