This post is written to link with an online discussion at katemotaung.com on the book “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Today I’m posting on Chapter 1: Identify.
I would not tend to identify myself or describe myself as a writer, though I have always loved to write. As I think back, I realise that writing has always been part of my life.
As a child, I was always either reading or writing stories and I dreamed of being an author one day. When I was about 10 or 11 some friends and I put together a magazine, which we wrote, printed and copied ourselves and then sold to people. We took it all very seriously; we gave ourselves titles (I was the editorial assistant), and I remember many conversations and arguments over spelling and punctuation. I think we kept it going for about two years and probably produced seven or eight editions.
My great writing “success” came when I was 14 and I had a poem published in a book! Even at the time I thought it was an awful poem and I insisted on having it published under a pen name as I was embarrassed by it and didn’t want anyone to know. I was most excited about the fact that I would get a share of the royalties… until I received an envelope containing the grand sum of 65p!!!
Since then most of my writing has been for myself. I have a box of about 20 journals from over the years. Writing helps me process, and, especially when life is difficult, it has been something I’ve always turned to. The gaps in my journalling have tended to come in the times when life was peaceful and happy and things were going well, whereas the times I’ve journalled the most have been the hardest times as I’ve turned to writing as a way of processing and as a way of expressing feelings I struggled to talk about or share with anyone.
More recently I have begun to share more of my writing- mainly songs and drama scripts- and I have also dabbled in blogging.
So I have done a lot of writing, but I would hesitate to call myself a writer- I don’t think I have shown the intent and effort that is described in the book, and there are so many other things that consume my time and energy. I would like to work towards calling myself a writer though, or at least to develop my writing skills. This is why I have decided to read this book and sign up to join these discussions.
Over the last few years I’ve realised I have something to share with others and I want to learn to do this. When I share my thoughts with people they often comment that what I am saying makes them think of things in a different way. I have shared some insights on Bible passages as part of an online discussion and have had people commenting that it had been helpful or that they had never thought of it in that way before.
I used to think I was just weird, but lately I am feeling God’s affirmation that I do see things differently sometimes and that I should share my perspective with others. I know that, while I have the ideas, I sometimes struggle to express them well, so I hope with practice to work on this.
This quote from the introduction to the book sums up my feelings on why I would like to develop my writing skills: “A story it cries to be told… ideas beg to be explored…images beg to be played with, and conflicts yearn to be expressed.” I look forward to learning and growing in this over the next few weeks.