i know i mentioned at the beginning of the month that i’m trying really hard to get back into the habit of writing more regularly. to that end, i signed up for The Daily Post’s Writing 101 workshop. each day for 4 weeks, there is an assignment “that warms up your writing muscles and helps you to find inspiration in the places closest to you — but where you might not think to look.” i’m stoked. i think. however, per my usual slack-ass work ethic the typical chaos of life, family, work and responsibility have superseded me time. so here i sit at the keyboard, already 2 posts behind and with a half-finished pedicure. at least it’s not a half-finished manicure and i don’t have to watch the insult of it all with every keystroke.
anyhow, Monday’s assignment was to do a post on “Why I Write.” today’s (it is still only Tuesday, right? ugh.) was to write a list about “Things I Like/Things I’ve Learned/Things I Wish.” i’m going to combine thoughts for the win, y’all! welcome to my first Writing 101 post:
Things I Like About Writing
1. being good at it. that sounds terrible. i know. but what i mean is that writing is my thing. everybody’s got a thing, right? when i was growing up, you did sports or music or art or debate or . . . something that you could claim was your talent and your hobby. i liked this one early on, so i stuck with it.
over the years, doing it with at least some degree of talent has scored me grades on assignments where my knowledge of subject matter was lacking, but my use of appropriate words in spinning a factual-sounding story was strong. it landed me a middle school poetry award, admission to a grad school i couldn’t get into now, a career where “writer” was actually once part of my title, awards in that industry and, i daresay, a husband. among other less memorable-at-this-moment distinctions.
2. loving the craft. it doesn’t always show in these blog posts i sort of tap off between Miss Girl’s bedtime and mine. but when i spend more time actually refining things here or for work or for other fiction stuff i work on from time to time, there is just a magic that happens when you take the time to make it right, labor over le mot juste and really dive into the head of who you’re writing about and writing for.
3. getting the reaction. when you do all of number 2 and then it gets exactly the reaction you hoped, there is no. better. feeling. you made something. and someone got it. hallelujah.
i think writing often gets sidebarred because humans instinctively are visual creatures — myself included. so when someone actually takes the time to go beyond the pretty picture and read the words, it’s really heart melting to know that they’ve gone deeper. and somehow, i always think more of that person. ha!
4. being anybody i want. that’s storytelling, right? you get to take on a lot of voices and tell a lot of different stories. whether i’m writing for a client, writing here or writing random passages, dialogues or pieces of what might one day (fingers crossed) become a novel, it’s so fun to imagine how best to tell your story, then use that voice and really delve into the imaginary world of someone else.
5. singin’ it. i don’t typically get into politics in my blog posts or social media, but those who know me know i’m incredibly opinionated. being a good writer is absolutely key to spreading your message. writing can be incredibly powerful and persuasive and i love when i do step up and use my way with words to make something happen. think of preachers and their sermons, politicians and their speeches. somebody wrote all that before they said it and moved y’all. words are a powerful thing.
6. getting it out of my head! okay. not trying to sound crazy or anything, but sometimes, i just gotta write. there is a dialogue or a phrase, a moment that needs to be described or something i just can’t say to anyone else — all floating around in my head. and i just need to write it down — so i can understand it, capture it and maybe work out something a little subconscious, so i can see if it is a piece of art, so i can just conquer the process of doing it.
7. breathing. writing is usually my moment alone. either before the day or after. when my insane family is nestled somewhere else — or knows to leave Mommy alone. i steal some time when i should probably be folding laundry or making a bento box (lol) or you know . . . doing. and i am still and i listen to what’s in my head and in my heart and i start typing. and it helps me process the things i don’t always get to talk to everyone about, to let go a little and to breathe.