Thursday, July 23, 2015

So you think you're a writer...

So you think you are a writer, a blogger, a narrator. You think you can whip something up so amazing that thousands of people will read it and their lives will be changed.

Then reality strikes - you don't get into grad school, you don't get that book published, you don't get the feedback you thought you would get, nobody reads your blog, nobody listens when you narrate.

Are you still a writer/author if nobody reads what you read? Is having an audience a requirement of being an author? Cannot you write/author a work that nobody sees and yet you are still a writer by trade because you have created something no matter how great or awful it may be?

It takes hard work, grit, dedication, a great editor, and a good group of people who are willing to give you feedback even when you don't want to hear it. You need to brainstorm, walk away, come back, let things soak and marinate. Sometimes things can get better with age like Whiskey and Wine. Sometimes you have a revelation and realize it gets worse with age or was never really good at all.

I always hated when my teachers would make me outline - I already had the entire story/paper written and would have to go back and divide it into an outline. I thought it to be such a pointless task. Now, I know what the outline is for - It's meant to put your ideas down on paper.

Rehash - Rethink - Grow - Nourish - Expand - Rewrite

Outlines are meant to be the bones and you have to keep breaking the bones and resetting them until you have something solid enough to work with that you can create that amazing piece you always wanted. But it's more than that. Writing is not about what you want - it's also about what your reader wants. Because even though you can be a writer without an audience - do you want to be? Most people who write have something to say and they need someone to hear it - the trick is - you have to figure out what the reader wants and then give them what they want while saying what you want.

Tricky, I know. So you think you're a writer - tell me what you have? Is it fiction, nonfiction, poetry, does it fit in a category, can it be a mashup? Though we want to live outside the walls and boxes of the literary community and labels on the ends of shelves at bookstores - if we want to be heard we have to find out niche. What category do you fit in? Are you more than one? You can write more than one you know! Even though schools, professors, editors will tell you to focus on one - you can craft your abilities in more than one category.

Share what you have now - even if it's not done - even if it's rough and bad - share it. It's easier to get feedback and re-create something small than it is to re-work something big. Be okay with getting negative criticism - not everyone will like what they read. Just this week I put down a book after one chapter - not because it wasn't good - it just wasn't for me. What you write won't be for everyone, but it should fit with someone!

I have been challenged to write more - by others and by myself. I am taking on this challenge and I'm excited to see where it leads, how I grow and what my outlook on writing is after I am done. I am in the midst of seeking out a writers group - a group of folks who also is willing to share so that I may develop and strengthen my craft.

I am a writer.
I don't think - I know.
What I have to say may not be for you
But it's for me and someone else

So before you tell me I can't
You better realize that I can
Because I am a writer
Deep down in my soul

I am broken and healed
Calloused and Grown
I am a writer
Down to the Bone.

Don't try to stop me
It's pointless you know
I am a writer
I don't think - I know.

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