I’ve always enjoyed writing. I recall a time in high school where I’d write short stories for my friends on ripped-out notebook pages. They were incredibly silly and I suppose they amused us. It never occurred to me that maybe I should pursue writing. In my eyes, I’ve always lumped writers and artists together – they are always broke and trying to find a job. But, if they are truly talented, they can make a profit and earn the respect of their colleagues and peers. But how often does that really happen?
How does one become a writer? I suppose they just grab a notebook and begin writing. In days long ago, people would study writing and perfect the trade before attempting publishing. Now, it is simple as starting a blog and writing daily posts until one obtains followers. After a while, a blog becomes a book deal and maybe a Youtube channel then fame. It is all very bizarre to me.
Who is writer? Who should be writing? Aside from those special people who invest time in higher education, I think only readers can be writers. The only way you will learn the language is to read, read, read. My father tried to drill this into my head as a child. But who really listens to their parents when they are young?
As I get older, I find my taste in books has changed. I am incredibly picky now and cannot tolerate simple stories or fast-paced, best seller thrillers. I often think – how hard can it be to write a good story? At work, I have the luxury of talking to people all day about books and many of them agree with the question I pose. Dare I say I am a bit of a book snob now? Blame the library I suppose. The library has opened my mind to a world of reading.
Last year I started writing for the local paper. My column is usually under 500 words and it is about the same topic – the library. Often I’d write a column, re-read it several times and think gosh, this is just so simply written and so terrible. I spent time tweaking, eliminating, adding elements until I got it right. And the work paid off. People are very kind and tell me they enjoy reading my column and look forward to the next one. This is not just my mom and husband! Although they are my biggest fans.
I have decided to write a book. You will find in my earlier blog that I’ve already announced it. I bought a notebook, printed some of my photographs and I am trying to create stories based upon the subject of the photographs. It has been a challenge!! As I said before, it is a challenge to write a column about a place I work at everyday, a place I know so well. You can imagine trying to use my imagination to make up a story – the details, the plot, the characters – is an even bigger challenge!
While on vacation I burst through the first writer’s block and was able to create a story revolving around a simple photograph of a pair of red boots on a hardwood floor. My initial instinct was to write about the location and the boots. Instead, I built up characters, one of whom wears the boots- boots that are more than just protection from the rain. They are her life, her safe place, her whole being. But why….?
Stay tuned for more……