A Writer’s Rhythm

by Ant Stone on August 20, 2011

in Features

I have a theory: that great writers, make dismal dancers. And the reason? It’s down to rhythm. Writers store it within, simmering like a hearty ragu, before releasing it in sentences to their obedient readers, whose eyes and minds tap along to the beat.

If you want to be a great travel blogger, it’s less about being a great traveller, and more about learning to channel your rhythm.

Imagine yourself as the most driven, focused, and competent rhythmic gymnast, commanding your pale ribbon through the tense air like a wisp of coloured smoke. One false move, and it’s a tangle of disappointment.

domatrice di nastri - ribbons tamer

Your readers will stumble awkwardly across the narrow beam of your sentence, and tumble helplessly into the blank surrounds, to the bitter echo of confusion.

There’s a balance, which all aspiring writers should learn to master.

Try too much, and risk entangling your readers in a stilted flow. Try too little, and risk releasing your readers’ attention via a flash of limp command.

Throughout our lives, our environment dictates our rhythm. Some writers crave pure silence, to be able to tune into themselves. While others — myself included — prefer to use music to neutralise a wayward rhythm.

For me, the music I choose is often without words, or in a foreign language. If I get to know the song too well, I start to sing along, and my rhythm melts into a thousand rivulets, poisoning my words and ways.

Next time you begin to write, take a moment to tune into your rhythm, and learn to give into it.

Am I talking codswallop? If you think so, go ahead and say so. Or perhaps something I’ve said has struck a chord? Lay it down, we could all learn something from you today.


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