*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*
I have been chewing on this question all week, trying to figure out why it seems to be so important.
There was a one day writer’s seminar here in town last weekend. I was there at the urging of a writer friend who knew I would find it helpful. I’ve attended seminars before but never one with writing as the purpose. I admit to feeling a little out of place, especially identifying more as a reader than a writer. I say a little bit, rather than a big bit, because they gave me a warm welcome and didn’t seem to be too bothered by my rather minor writing aspirations or the fact that I was a stranger to them all.
The topic of the keynote address was authentic writing. I was looking forward to this because it was lining up with my thoughts about the style of writing I should be using and I was sure it would be helpful, which it was. Meeting with this group of ladies was a positive experience I hope to repeat in the future.
My chewing on the question of motive came after the fact, you know how it goes, it’s all over and now you go back and take more time to think about those things that stood out through the course of the day.
This question – why do you want to write? – was asked at the beginning and the end of the day. And, to make matters worse, it was asked again on the first page of the book I won as a door prize. On reading this page, suddenly, all my deliberations were coloured by the appearance of my many insecurities.
Several days ago, looking for resolution to all this negative self talk, I decided to reread the first page of the book, to see if maybe I had gotten off track somewhere. This time I read it with a more positive, open frame of mind and found, I was off track. Now I am looking at this question in a more positive light and want to read the whole book to see what all he has to say after asking such a question. The book, in case you are interested, is – Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey.
I’m sure there are times when speakers and other writers ask this question with the wrong motive in their mind, we are all human after all. I think, in this case though, rather than trying to discourage us from writing, the question was meant to encourage us to take a more realistic look at our motives and expectations. I can see that it would be difficult to do a good job of writing if our reasons for writing spent more time in the clouds that they did on the ground.
Maybe a good analogy, from another part of life, would be, the view people have of love and marriage – some people love the idea of marriage, some people love the person they are about to marry. Successful marriages are those where the person, not the idea, is loved.
Maybe it needs to be the same way with writing. We need to love being a writer, rather than loving the idea of being a writer, because, like marriage, writing is a lot of hard work and just loving an idea won’t work out all the well for us.
My mind is still going round and round about all this and the subject has not been exhausted yet. That’s okay, there is still lots to learn.
Maybe I am so worked up about this subject because I know everyone has a story that needs to be told, even if they are not writers by the normal definition of the word. The writer benefits by telling her/his story, and even if there is only one, or maybe no, other person in this world who reads their story and benefits, then the writing has still been worth it.
OK, time to quit because my day job is calling, loudly, and this subject is not finished by any means. I feel like I am just getting started! 🙂
I will only mention one book this time since I am out of time
The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) – Carolyn Miller…. this book is written in a similar style to Pride and Prejudice. I quite enjoyed it.
Happy reading!…… and think about writing your story! Someone in your family may thank you one day, even if you are not around to hear them say it.