Are You a Closet Writer?

I find it amazing the number of people who have admitted to scribbling poetry and prose in journals then neatly tucking it away from the rest of the world. Maybe they’re afraid that others might think it’s a waste of their time or they’re worried that no one will ever think their work worthy of publication. Who knows? Whatever the case I’ve had many people tell me that they once wrote a story or else they write regularly, or their mother or daughter or sister or uncle writes stories, usually adding that they have no desire to see their work published. Yet it is obvious that they have a innate desire to write or else they wouldn’t even attempt it.

Many years ago I was one of those people who wrote in secret. I believe I actually felt embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed writing, and that I loved the way words flowed upon the page, the images they conjured up. The truth was, I couldn’t begin to imagine not writing something down on paper even though it seemed a frivolous indulgence and, something that I really didn’t have time for. To be honest it seemed impractical. Would it end up being a waste of my time if I was never able to see my work in print? Back then publication seemed like a pipe dream. How could I possibley become a published writer? I was just too ordinary. I didn’t have good enough ideas. No one would ever want to read something I had written. Or so I thought.

I’ll admit publication isn’t for everyone. It’s not an easy road to travel. And let’s face it, having your story out there in the world leaves it open not only to praise but to criticism as well. Praise is something every writer enjoys hearing. Heck, who wouldn’t? It’s like someone telling you that you have a cute baby.

I believe that we all have a creative side, and that we are born with a need to express this creativity. I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t create on some level. It certainly doesn’t have to take the form of writing. It can be knitting, sewing, scrap booking, painting, drawing, crafting, cooking, baking, gardening—-these are all ways of expressing our creative abilities. It’s an endless list. I find it curious that people will hide the fact that they are writing,but at the same time have no qualms showing off the latest sweater they knit or the scrapbook they put together for their grandchild. They send off homemade greeting cards without being the least bit self-conscious. So, why are these same people ashamed to admit they write? And why do we seem to place so much emphasis on words, worrying that they might not be good enough to share with others?

Like every craft, writing is something that we need to practice. The more we practice the better writers we become. Not only that, it needs to be our own, a story that no one else on the planet could write, from a perspective unique only to us. Pretty cool when you think of it like that!!

I sometimes wonder how many gifted writers are out there who are afraid to share what they do with the rest of us. How many scribble away in secret because they’re afraid they just aren’t good enough? And do they ever dream of what might have been if they only had the courage? I think one of the saddest things in life is allowing our dreams to die away to nothing because of fear. I think that’s why I always try to encourage other writers as best I can. We all deserve to have a dream.

So, what about you, are you now or have you ever been a closet writer? It’s confession time. Time to step out of the closet. Be brave. We won’t laugh…

New Year’s Intentions

I’ve always loved the thought of a brand new year, like a sparkling white field of snow spread before me, unmarred; perfect and new. I wait for it with anticipation. I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Our resolutions tend to fall to the wayside a few weeks into January. We promise ourselves we’ll loose weight, start an exercise regime or give up bad habits. We undertake to be less judgemental of others, have more patience, be more loving, all with a strong resolve that this is the way we will better our lives. And we do mean it…Damn it!

So I scrapped the idea of a New Year’s resolution many years ago.

Instead, on New Year”s Eve I create of list of intentions for the coming year. I prefer the word intentions instead of dreams because dreams sometimes have a way of eluding us, something that we hope for but can never attain whereas intentions seem very plausible; something that we intend to do or accomplish. If we intend it we CAN make it happen and why not?

This past year has been an amazing year for me. What once occupied a space on my list of intentions has become reality, sometimes surpassing even my own expectations. My first novel was published, I participated at Word on the Street, attended book signings, and met so many, many wonderful people, hopefully learned a bit about the publishing industry and so much more. It’s been a year of much joy and happiness. It’s been a year for family and friends.  A year when perfect strangers have bestowed acts of kindness upon me that will never be forgotten.

I haven’t yet sat down to write my list but I know that number one will be.

I intend to always give thanks for all the remarkable blessings in my life!

So, Happy New Year to you all! Thank you all for your support and your over all remarkableness…May your intentions become reality….

 

As we head into 2010 what are your intentions for this brand new year?

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