Bloom where you're planted Photo by Linda Wilson
As busy as you are with your life, have you ever wondered where this desire to write comes from? You may be a physician/writer, a teacher/writer or a writer/writer. But deep down you know: Writing is your heart and you never want to stop.
The reasons one becomes a writer are as varied as life itself. Some of them are collected here, for you to ponder and perhaps to remind you of your own beginning, when you first noticed that pulse that beat so strong inside that it spilled onto the page and hasn't stopped. It's only grown. And you've grown, too.
You know you're a writer when you . . .
. . . Enjoy looking up words in the dictionary and thesaurus.
- Speaking from personal experience, I like nothing better than to look up words. I am now in the market for an electronic dictionary/thesaurus. Any recommendations left as a comment would be appreciated.
. . . Are willing to forgo a social life, belonging to clubs, playing bridge, etc.
- Years ago, I read an article where best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford (A Woman of Substance, and twenty-nine other books), was quoted as saying that you must choose between having a busy social life or becoming a serious author. In a recent article where Bradford offered writing tips she wrote: "First and foremost, you need to be serious about your desire to become a published author. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort and dedication to hone your skills and produce a work worthy of publication. But like anything else, if you possess the talent and the determination, you will likely succeed."
. . . Love the process without concerning yourself with the end result. Your mind is always working on an idea or problem for an article or story.
- Newbery medalist and well-loved children's author Betsy Byars described one of the best things about our craft in the reference book, Something About the Author, " . . . creativity. I can't define it, but I have found from experience that the more you use it, the better it works."
. . . Are willing to keep learning your craft and grow.
- In the article, "Timeless Advice on Writing from Famous Authors," June 18, 2012 published by Brainpickers, Chilean novelist Isabel Allende is quoted as saying, "Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too."
- Through the years, I've heard successful writers and editors say that it's sad. Many talented writers give up too soon. They've become discouraged because of the demands that come with being a published author. If they had hung on a little longer, their work would have been ready.
- A Catholic nun was the first person who encouraged me to write. I had made puppets and a puppet stage and written and adapted puppet plays for the children in our church when my daughters were very young. She told me how my project could help others if I would take the time to share what I had done. The article I wrote and photographs I included became my first published piece. Thanks to her encouragement I learned right from the start the satisfaction that comes from sharing our work.
- "A writer, early and late, does a lot of listening at doors . . ." Richard Peck, Newbery-medalist
Next month: You Know You're a Writer When . . . Part II
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, recently completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction course. Linda has published over 40 articles for children and adults, six short stories for children, and is in the final editing stages of her first book, a mystery story for 7-10 year olds. Follow her on Facebook.