Writing doesn’t have to be hard

Writing is as easy as knowing what you want to say and to whom you want to say it. Once you know these things, you can begin to think about how you want to say it, how you hope it will be perceived and how you can best frame it to encourage the response you want.

Whether I’m writing an academic paper, a blog or a speech, I always begin by asking myself these three questions:

  1. Why do I want to say it?
  2. Why will people want to read or hear it?
  3. Is it the truth?

Great writing isn’t so much about what you write, it’s about why you write what you do and whether you really do believe in what you’re saying. It’s always important to be as honest as possible because – even if they don’t say it out loud – people always know when you’re lying.

Panel 1

Make it real

Imagination and creativity are essential to any kind of writing. But I’ve found that while it can be easy to imagine what we want to say, it’s very hard getting it out of our heads and on a page.

People have often said to me, “I know what I want to say, it’s in my head. I just don’t know how to write it.” From time to time, even I need help getting awesome ideas out of my head so I know how much it can help having someone there to get the creative process going.

 

Panel 2

Who is Sara Bharrat?

I grew up in Craig when people in the front parts of the village were transitioning from mud firesides to gas stoves, when they were selling off their cows in favour of keeping broiler chicken pens in their now limited backyard space and when they had just begun to fill in their pit-latrines one at a time.

My grandfather’s name was Mohan. I knew him as an old man, who was taller than the men in our family and still very muscular-looking up to the day he died. He was a cane cutter; a star among his peers. For many years, he was the top producer at the Diamond Sugar Estate, God rest its soul. While he was alive I didn’t understand who he was or the importance of his story to who I am and what being Guyanese would come to mean to me.

At the age of 11, I gained entry to St. Stanislaus College. My early years there were full of uncertainty and it was a long, hard struggle for identity. I think it was then that I learnt the art of creating masks. There are few people from that era of my life who can tell you where I lived or about my family. I guarded my personal life and my origins very closely. I began by being ashamed of who I was and then I was afraid of being shamed because of where I came from.

Before I was 10, my mother’s cousin migrated and left me some of his books. I read everything from Physics to History to Agricultural practices to Ancient Civilizations and Art. I never stopped reading. It was my passion for reading that allowed me to bond with children who were from different worlds and it was my love for reading that taught me to see the world in words.

Very early on, I found that if I wrote about the things I didn’t understand then I’d eventually learn to know them intimately. Writing became my way of searching for the truth in the world around me. And it was through writing that I came to know myself.

I believe that the most important lesson I’ve learnt up to now is that writing is easy, but telling the truth – allowing yourself to be vulnerable so that others can learn – is hard.

 

Signature

Interesting facts:

In keeping with her passion for the arts and freedom of thought, Sara serves as a Secretary/Director on the Moray House Trust Board.

In June 2015, Sara Bharrat was elected as a Director on the Board of Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) . She currently holds the title of First Vice President but has done very little over the last year.

She is a Global Shaper and has been a member of the Global Shapers Community – Georgetown Hub since August 2014.

In November 2015, Sara received her BA in English (Literature/Linguistics) with distinction from the University of Guyana. She was also awarded the Denis Irving Prize for outstanding contributions to the cultural life on campus.

Sara has almost a decade of experience in journalism and began her career at the Stabroek News.

She currently serves as the resident communications woman over at Conservation International-Guyana

Apart from this, Sara is a writer who runs a few times a week, loves her nani very, very much and probably eats too much baigan choka.

Panel 3

Never be afraid to tell your story.