“A good story is a love-letter to a trusted friend”

March 29, 2020
March 29, 2020 Philip Holmes

I was very pleased when writer and enthusiastic blogger Wakanyi Hoffman, a friend of ours from when we lived in Kathmandu, joined The Big Story mentors group. Originally from Kenya, Wakanyi now lives with her husband and children in Groningen, the Netherlands. I asked Wakanyi for her writing tip to share with you. Here is her lovely advice:

“The earliest that I can remember writing was to myself on personal journals, which I could share with a trusted friend. They were love letters to my (then younger) self. I would always begin each new entry with, ‘Dear Self’.

As the youngest of five children, I grew up in a noisy and busy home and these moments of writing provided greatly needed solitude. I wrote everyday- it became a consistent thing, a space that only I could enter, tell lots of stories, keep lots of secrets, and then leave them right there. I could write freely because I had an audience in mind and I could write using an honest voice because these were truths from my heart.

What I would say to anyone thinking about writing is this – have an audience in mind. Think about just one person who you know would definitely read what you’re writing, then write your story as if you are writing to that particular person. It’s got to be someone that you trust, a person who knows you well. Write your story as if you are writing a love letter to this trusted confidante, then watch in amazement as the words that were floating around in your head space begin landing faster than you can breathe, on your blank paper. If one person is guaranteed to read your story without judgement, that’s all the power that you need to know that your story is relevant.

So, go on and write it.”

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