Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writing : Do What Works

About a year ago I started blogging to see if I could get my "voice" back.  Growing up I always wanted to be a writer, among many other things.  In fact, some of my poems and stories were published in Young Author Anthologies beginning when I was 10! Once I entered the adult world at 17 years old my focus turned to paying bills. I put my dreams of writing on the shelf.  I still have all of my stories, poems, essays, research papers, and "books" that I wrote between the ages of 5 and 18.  Going through my past writing endeavors last year and being asked to write a few essays for religious publications is what gave me the determination to focus on writing again.

I had this mental image of my writing ability, objectified, sitting on a shelf collecting dust.  It scared me that I had let so much time pass without using my creativity.   I thought a blog would be a nice way to get back in the habit of writing and it would push me to be creative, serious and funny. . .and truthful.  Anyone can write in a diary or journal but the real test comes when you allow people to react to what you've written.  I also felt like writing would be therapeutic for me, whether it's something everyone can read and relate to or something just for me the goal is to do what works for me and my writing style, not someone else's.

Yesterday, I had the most irritating day.  The day wasn't bad it was just continuously frustrating, if that makes sense.  By 4:00 PM I slumped back in my chair and thought, "Whyyyyyy-yuh?"  In the past, this feeling would have stayed with me but my mind immediately went to ideas of how I could express the annoyances so that others who experience the same types of irritating moments, could relate and have a "hallelujah" moment and laugh along with me.  In fact, the ideas came so quickly and humorously that I caught myself laughing out loud at all of the situations of the day.  Thinking of them in a blog  or story format made them  funny!  Free therapy!!

My passion for writing is at an all time high.  I see a story in everything; like I did when I was a kid.  I find myself noticing my surroundings more than ever and the good news is that I am finding my voice! I have a long way to go but this blog has really helped me deal with stress and I feel like I can connect to people through it. That's the first step. The next step? Continuing to shape my style and my focus. Ultimately, I want to write about controversial issues. The subjects they tell you never to discuss are the ones I love to bring up on a regular basis. I'm not sure my readers are ready for my opinions and perspectives yet; for now I'll stick with the sarcastic stories about life.

Writing is like taking that first breath after a "hold-your-breath" contest. There's nothing more inviting, more comforting or more necessary in that moment.

"There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed."

-Sophy Burnham

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