Reasons To Write
I have had a few people ask me why I write. Others shared how they have always wanted to write a book, but don't know how to get started. I am no expert. At anything, really, but as a writer, I wanted to just take a minute to share a few thoughts on why I write, and why all those of you who always wanted to write a book ... should!
I have always had an active imagination, have always liked telling stories, but found that due to my rather extreme introversion, I am a better storyteller on paper than in spoken word.
Tidbit about me:
I grew up in a family of incredible storytellers. My mom STILL makes up the most amazing, whimsical little stories. Another family member had a distinct talent for tall tales, making the most mundane events happening in his life into these larger than life, superhuman, almost magical events that had me clinging to his every word). When I was in middle school, and influenced by two apocalyptic books that threw my imagination into overdrive, I sat down and began to put those thoughts on paper. Once I got started, every new fantasy or science fiction novel I read inspired more stories in my mind. What resulted was a desk drawer full of beginnings of stories that I never finished because, frankly, I let fear stop me.
I feared failure. I also feared success. I feared being a poor writer. I feared not measuring up to the same standard that I held for books that I read. So, for a long time, while I still jotted down ideas here and there as I transitioned from middle school to high school then college, I did not pursue what some told me repeatedly was "talent."
Tidbit about me:
I still don't agree that I have "talent," - the fact that I have a rather tiny following attests to my personal suspicion that I am mediocre at best - but I cannot dismiss this drive inside me to write, so I don't fight it anymore. Even knowing MOST of my project starts are unlikely to make it beyond files on my computer, I still start them, save them, and work on them from time to time. I have dozens of started projects based on things I have watched, read, experienced, dreamt...
Eventually, I found myself in a place where I had to find something I could do to earn money from home. The adage about do what you love was strong with me at that point in time so I found ways to earn money writing, and for a while, I loved it. However, as is often the case with jobs, I was writing for other people and all the joy I had in writing sapped away, and I grew apathetic and complacent in it. So I stepped away from writing for other people, and with the encouragement of my family, I started writing for myself.
Tidbit about me:
I grow bored very easily, so I learned that I cannot commit to writing - even for myself - as though it is a job. The second I do, I lose all motivation and inspiration. I am one who must write as the mood moves me. This means slower progress on all my writing projects, but I am a better writer going at a snail's pace versus trying to make self-imposed deadlines or putting undue pressure on myself to finish x, y, or z.
Now... To all you aspiring writers.
Just start writing. On a notepad. In a journal. On your mobile device. On your computer. It doesn't matter, just start. I started with Word. I simply opened a new .doc and started writing.
You don't need to be a professional writer to BE a writer. Yes. You could get a formal education. Yes, relearning grammar, and honing writing skills IS beneficial, but all that can come with time as you move along your writer's journey. Point is - just write. Write it down. Get it on paper. Tell your story.
Save the "next steps" for after your project is complete. Don't know what those next steps are? That is okay! Don't let that unknown keep you from writing. Once your writing is complete, THEN ask the question: what's next?
Finally, because it is the key point: Just start writing!