Thursday, August 28, 2014

What Are Writers Really Saying When They Write about Writing? (a #ThrowbackThursday Post)

This post originally appeared on my former blog, bloomthink, on February 7, 2012.

Since making a career change a few months ago, I have been blessed with more quality opportunities to write both professionally and for fun. (The phrase "dream come true" is apropos. And I love using words like apropos.)

I have also used this gift of time to treat myself to an Internet education about writing of all kinds. I cleverly refer to this fascinating endeavor as taking a Write Course. But how much can possibly be on the Internet about writing, you ask? Plenty.

I have read blogs, articles, quotes, and tweets about why writers write, how they write, how they should write, and what they write. I have read blog comments written by aspiring writers who are figuring out how to start living their dream. I have read about what writers wear while they write, what music they listen to while they write, and where they like to write. I have read about writing as a business. You name it, I have looked for it, stumbled upon it, found it, reviewed it, and tried to absorb it.

Obviously, my course is never ending. I have only seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg. But here, so far, is what I think is subtext when writers write about writing.

"I love to write. I mean, I really love to write." No one would write outside of school or work requirements if they didn't love to write. Trust me. The work of writing is too challenging, time consuming, and open to rejection to voluntarily make it your hobby let alone your livelihood. More than one writer has said so, in one way or another. I think so too.

"I want to share what is close to my heart in written form. It may or may not yet be 'on paper,' but I am working up to it." Writers see a story in almost every circumstance or event in life. Note I did not say every circumstance or event makes a good story. But the more writers write, the more they see potential for written expression just as an artist sees potential for visual expression. Or a chef sees a new culinary creation with ingredients I think just make a good omelet. And the more they write, the closer they get to revealing their heart stories. Even crime novelists, if you ask me.

"I think I am a good writer, but everything I write is subject to rejection on some level and that scares me. So I strive to do it right, to do it well, minimizing the risk of rejection." Many writers have mastered this craft; many others are working to improve their skills (like me). But like film actors, writers at all levels probably think they are only as good as their last blog post that received good traffic and comments, novel that sold beyond the publisher's expectations, or message received well by its intended audience. Writing is not for the fainthearted (or for the true perfectionist, who may never sleep again). And this leads to the last point.

"I have achieved success as a writer and I want to help other writers achieve success as well." Generosity? Really? Yes. At first, one may think all those blog posts and articles and websites are just "hey, look at me" attempts in the cyber-world so easily entered. And any writing, even this post, invites others to take a look. But I believe writers want to share and nurture other writers' gifts and work. They like to root for the team. How many conferences for aspiring mechanics or brain surgeons do you see advertised compared to conferences for aspiring writers?

I could be wrong about what I think I am reading between the lines. But now I not only love writing more than ever, I love writers more than ever. That Write Course result can only be good.

For writers, what do you most want to share with the world about writing?

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