Part of our creative writing project at The EDGE Cafe is a weekly Guest blog from one of our group.
This week’s blog is a piece about the pleasures of writing by Bernice Zieba.
Writing is for me a way to sort and express my thoughts and ideas. It is a passion, a joy, a commitment. Sometimes it’s almost an obsession. Writing also means power: As a writer I have the opportunity to say what I really want to say, without being interrupted by anyone; a chance to tell the world my opinion. Writing neutralises feelings of anger and consoles in sad times.
Writing is an exciting journey, especially when writing fiction: It’s like being carried away on the back of an enormous bird, flying above towns, hills and mountains, viewing the world from a different angle. It’s like travelling in a train that brings you to places you’ve never been before, seeing things, you didn’t even know existed. Sometimes you’re aware of the train’s destination, but sometimes you might just take a seat without knowing, where you’ll end up.
I think the most important part of writing is that you want to tell something. Of course you need to be able to spell words and shape sentences‑, but that is something you can practise, something you need to practise. Writing is a craft: First you write a draft, and then you modify it until it has the right shape. Just like a sculptor who starts off with a piece of rock. He carves around on the stone until it has the perfect shape of whatever was desired: a bust, a statue, an animal.
Writing raises us above plants and animals. We are the only earthly creatures that express themselves in written words. Writing makes us almost divine.
Writing is an art. We don’t need writing to survive physically (like water, food and shelter), yet written work is essential for the soul. It nurtures, educates and entertains the mind. Reading about other people’s lives can help us understand each other better.
I’ve been writing all my life. When I was three years old, I knocked on the door of my dad and asked him for some paper. “I want to write a book!” I announced full of confidence.
Throughout my youth I wrote many diaries, including travel journals. But at the end of my teenage years I burnt them all. As a young mother I took up writing again and have been writing ever since. Sometimes noting down bits of daily life or catching an interesting dream on paper. When I discovered home education, I soon began to write a book on the subject. My first book was published 2015 in Germany and has been translated in English.
I believe my passion is writing fiction. That’s why I’m currently working on a children’s fantasy story. It’s an exciting journey and I’m learning a lot during the process. After finishing three quarters of the first draft, I started re-writing the whole thing. During re-writing I discover my faults and change great parts of my text. Impatience is my greatest enemy at writing. The more I write and re-write, the more I notice how long the journey lasts – longer than firstly assumed. But it’s worth the effort. There’s one more thing I’d like to mention: I also enjoy reading books. Reading is important for developing my own writing style. Reading and writing go hand in hand.
About the author
Bernice Zieba was born in Gloucester. Her parents originate from Guyana and Switzerland. As a child she moved to Switzerland and stayed there for thirty years. In 2016 she returned to the UK and lives near Cambridge.
Bernice is married and the mother of seven children. She is author of the book Growing Up Without School (originally published in German) and is now working on a children’s fantasy story.