What is it that you require to become a writer?


Is it about ‘writing space’ or is it about some kind of ‘inspiration’ that is necessary to write? Is it only good imagination that gives rise to powerful writing?

Lately, I’ve been trying to find answers for these questions and have recently came across a tedtalk by Markus Zusak on yout tube.

Zusak who is an author of New York Times bestseller The book Thief explains that these are problems in life for which a person wants some solution and in order to get away from them, he becomes a writer.

This phenomenon sounds interesting to me and Harry Potter’s writer J. K Rowling came to my mind. Prior to publishing her novel, Rowling was going through lots of troubles in her life. She was a single mother and in absence of any kind of permanent job, she was in need of money.

Rowling’s strong imagination was the reason behind her success but that were also problems in her life which compels her to use her imagination in an effective way.

Reign of Queen Victoria in England is famous for its novelists and Charles Dickens is considered one of the greatest English writers of his time. When his father was in debtors’ prison, Dicken left school to work in factory. Dickens’ was quite young when he was forced to live a life away from his family and while working as a child, he experienced the problems which poor working class faced in society.

Facing issues and on getting first hand experience of life, Dicken with the help of his imagination created some unforgettable characters in literature.

Wilkins Micawber, Ebenzer Scrooge and Oliver Twist are considered some of his memorable characters.

An author while writing her memoir writes

” My sharpest memory is of a single instant surrounded by dark”

Which means that these are dark moments in life which leave strong impression on our minds and writer is a sensative person to express his emotions well from such moments.

Tolstoy in Anna Karenina writes

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Which shows that in unhappiness there are many shades while in happy moments we often don’t find much which can stir or move our soul. Troubles in life provides us with many ideas to get away from them.

It’s not always necessary for a writer to own some perfect writing space, it’s anywhere that an idea can struck him.

Going back to that tedtalk by Markus Zusak, he tells that while writing a draft for his book, he literally tore and threw away many pages. He was confused about selecting his narrator and while looking at the pile of crumpled papers, an idea came to his mind.

Previously when he was considering taking girl to be his narrator, he was facing lots of issues but when he decided to make death a narrator of his book, everything went smooth.

It was out of the box thinking and once the novel was well received, he concluded that his journey of writing The book thief was not easy. He was sure that problems helped him in creating such a compelling piece of writing.

Have you read this book by Markus Zusak? Do you agree that these are problems in life which often helps writer in his writing.

Image Coutesy: Unsplash

7 thoughts on “What is it that you require to become a writer?

  1. I read Zusak’s “The Book Thief” last year and was absolutely captivated. I had resisted reading the book because I knew, as we all do, that any book that deals with Nazi Europe is going to be an emotional read…and it was, but it was a book I could not put down in large part because of the narrator, Death. I knew when I started the book that a number of characters whom I would like would end up dead, but it was not so depressing as I would have thought, due to the “humanizing” as it were of Death. And of course the writing style was superb.

    I think the idea of writing as a means to extricate oneself or escape from depression or a difficult life situation is a valid statement. BUT, I don’t think it’s universal. The depths of one’s fears or misery isn’t always apparent to the writer. What do I mean by that? I think that we carry deep emotions that share in molding the person we become. I think writers tend to be empathic creatures who feel the harshness of the world and the difficulty of others, including animals, but we, at the same time, do not appear to be suffering or miserable. Those feelings are understood and communicated through writing. In other words, we fully comprehend suffering but we ourselves may not be suffering so at the time. I don’t want to downplay our life experiences either. It may well be that we have endured hardships in some life arena, and carry that experience as well. It’s all so complicated.

    Sorry to have rambled so, this is a very interesting topic. I’m definitely going to watch the TED talk you mentioned. Thank you Madeeha, for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul,
      Hope everything’s well with you.
      No you didn’t ramble, it is just you raised a very important point and what you said is what I believe in.
      True, writer is someone who’s sensitive enough to perceive harshness of world and it’s not necessary that he himself is going through tough times.
      What you said is a larger perspective of life and what I wrote is about personal experience. There exist a connection between them.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Zusak’s ‘The Book Thief’ somewhere in 2015. Vividly do i remember that it was my 50th book on goodreads- a coincidence, but oh boy! a good one. And it is always in my list whenever it comes down to suggesting books to people. The Book Thief has a lot to offer to a reader besides its delightful narrative and an unparalleled writing style.

    Albeit reluctantly, but I’d have to agree to all the things he mentioned and what you wrote. Notwithstanding the articles I have written down in a mood of gaiety, the most noticeable ones came out when something in the life was amiss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I would have written a date on my book when I finished reading it but I believe it was the same year of 2015 that I read this book after reading its review on internet. You’re right it offers a lot to its reader besides its delightful narrativd and an unparalleled writing style. I’ve also noticed this thing in my writing that when I’m down in the dumps, I can write and imagine well.

      Liked by 1 person

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