Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why I Write

I've always been fond of writing.  When I was in grade school, I often pretended I was a journalist and would create newsletters on Grandma's computer program just for fun.  Of course, most of the stories were made up, but it still left me with a sense of accomplishment.  In middle school, I wrote a short story for an English project and had the teacher take me aside to tell me I had potential for becoming an author.  Let me tell you, that spurred me on to try!  In high school, I started my first novel.  Then two novels, then three.  I found that I could start out really strong, but after a chapter or two, I couldn't keep things going.  Eventually I grew frustrated and abandoned them altogether.

I still wanted to write, though.  In university I pursued a bachelor's in journalism and learned how to better my starts as well as strengthen my endings.  It still didn't improve all that middle stuff, though.  I couldn't do a thing with those novels I had begun earlier and ended up creating a fourth!  But it didn't last for long.  My dream of becoming an author was tucked on the shelf along with my secret longing of becoming a ballerina.

Just short of a year ago I started writing again.  I couldn't help myself, really.  Characters were coming alive in my head and insisted I write down their stories!  (Sort of like Samantha on that Bewitched episode when she created the characters of a play she was writing and they wouldn't go away when she was done!)

I began to realize that even though I have trouble expressing myself from beginning to end, or even finishing a writing project, that doesn't mean I can't write.  Or shouldn't write.  I might not be the best out there, but I won't get any better unless I practice and have honest people tell me where I can improve.

If you want to write, don't be bogged down with self-doubting!  Of course you aren't the best writer now.  I'm not and I don't expect I ever will be.  As long as you're writing because you love to write, and not for the approval of other people, it's good writing.  Don't be downcast if people have a lot of criticizing at first.  It's the feedback and the practice that will take you to where you want to go!

I am so thankful for the writers' group that took me in and pushed me to better myself as a writer.  Because of them, I have two stories in a published book that I can point to and say to myself, "See?  You can do it!  Keep plugging along!"  It is such an encouragement for a beginner like me.

As they say, if you write, you're a writer whether you have a book published or not!  If you like it, do it.  And that is why I can proudly say, "I write."

1 comment:

  1. 1) I too secretly want to be a ballerina (why did my mom not put me in classes when I was little? ha)
    2) I also know the feeling of having many different plots and characters jumbling around in your mind at the same time, and I can never get very far into a story. I think that's why I write poetry more often...
    3) Joining a writing group sounds very wise. Perhaps I shall!

    Thanks for your thoughts!