When Writing, Focus on the Words

by Jasper Lindell, Age 14, Australia


Stop thinking about writing.

That’s better. What’s happening when you are thinking about writing is you’re thinking about what comes after the actual writing, the prizes and the recognition. This isn’t healthy, it won’t get you anywhere, and you won’t write anything worthwhile.

Instead of thinking about writing, think about words. Words are like bacteria, some will help you and others will not, but all of them are your bricks. It’s words that you are given to work with. You aren’t given anything else, but it’s with the words that you can create the something else that you might be looking for in your work.

If you think about words you’ll think about what you’d like to write, you’ll consider how you can say something to the greatest effect. If you think about words, all the rest will follow. Thinking about the most basic building blocks will get you further than you might think. Each brick, each word is different, and will do something different. Writing becomes like Tetris; you have to fit your words in, and in the process create a pattern. First, though, you have to know what shape your words are, and you will only discover this by thinking and learning about them.

Read to find out how others are using words, how they are laying their bricks. The more you look at others’ words, the more that you will understand your own. The more that you understand your own, the better your own writing will be. If you understand the basics you will be able to build your writing up around you with an understanding of the bricks, which are your words.

Don’t worry about “writing,” just focus on the words and how you can use them. You need to understand words to write them.


Jasper Lindell is a 14 year old Aussie writer. Jasper says, “I’ve been writing ever since my father bought me a typewriter at the tip. I aspire to be a journalist – ready to face the torrents of abuse that journos are subjected to – and I’ve been co-editing my school newspaper, which I helped to found, for a number of years.” He has a “small” blog about typewriters.


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