I started writing when I was around ten years old. That means I’ve been writing a very long time. Sometimes with success. Sometimes without success – at least in publishing that writing. But the actual writing was always successful because words spilled out on paper. Perhaps not the best words. But words were written.
In those childhood days, writing was simply for fun. The words bubbled up with joy and spilled out all across the notebook paper. The ink tracing of words somehow magically made a story. It was only later that I began to desire readers. The stories hidden away in notebooks were no longer enough. I wanted to write stories that not only came to life in my mind, but that would wake up readers’ imaginations too. And so began my career as a writer.
Along the way I’ve discovered a few things about writing.
First and early on I learned that everything I wrote was not going to be golden. Writing was a learning process. I could improve. I could find ways to write better.
Second, I learned that writing better didn’t guarantee that what I’d written would turn out to be what others wanted to read.
Third, I learned that even when what I wrote found no ready readers, it was not wasted effort but instead practice. I had to write those words to get better at writing so that when I did find the right story to write, then my words might be so well written they would disappear before a reader’s eyes as the story sprang to life in his or her imagination.
Other things I’ve learned:
…that talking about writing is not writing.
…that if I don’t apply my fingers to the keyboard, nothing gets written.
…that I can’t talk too much about a story before I write it or I lose the excitement of writing said story.
…that persistence is as necessary as imagination in getting a book on a store shelf.
…that rejection, although painful, is not fatal unless you let it be.
…that writing is hard work no matter how much you love writing.
…that even on the days when the winds of creativity don’t blow on your writing sails, you can still write words that turn out to be not half bad.
…that it is easy to get distracted and do anything but write even when you badly want to write.
…that the most important person to believe in your writing is yourself. You are the one alone in front of the blank page.
…that the most important thing I did to prepare myself to write was read and that even now after all these years of writing, reading other writers’ stories is still as necessary as when I began writing.
…that even when I thought I should give up on writing, I couldn’t.
I am a writer. That’s what I do. Thank you for reading some of my words.
What lessons have your life or work taught you?