Monday, April 26, 2010

Why do we keep on writing?

I have been waiting all my life for this moment when I can give myself to writing.

When I was in Junior High (we rode on Stegosaurus both ways!) I wrote some Very Clean Romance stories and actually got the attention of some of the Cool Kids who wanted to see their thinly disguised lives penned with a happily ever after. But my father got hold of one, said it was a waste of time and told me not to write again unless it was quality stuff. He had strong opinions on how I wore my hair, too.

Flash forward 30 years (blah, blah, move away from home, blah, blah, therapy), and it was in library school that I teamed up with another librarian to publish our first resource books. And they were published! Still I saw myself as the one who could type quickly, not the creative one. Even after I had published children’s Bible story books I still sensed I was only retelling what someone else had already lived and not anything original. Add another two decades of master’s and doctoral writing and a sermon every week…It was writing – tons and mounds and endless streams of writing, but it was not the imaginative, creative writing I wanted to do. (The picture shows how I suspected my writing was really done.)

Until now! One of my clearly stated goals for (very early) retirement was TO WRITE!

Amazingly for about a year I could not think of anything to say. It was like I’d used up a life time of words on newsletters and bibliographies! Had I lost it or – my greater fear – never really had it?

Then I joined the critique group, first in the structured setting and now on our own. They critique just fine, but, more than that, they inspire with positive encouragement and by sharing their own struggles. I am energized to go to a couple of conferences this summer, have a NY editor look at my stuff, take part in NaPiBoWriWee! Turns out it is never too late: I am excited about writing!


  1. Amazing, now the stories are just coming out of you. I'm glad that you're finally doing what you want to do.

    Hmmm! Romance stories. Very funny that you had to specify that they were of the "clean" variety.

  2. I'm glad that you are feeling energized. You have a lot of wonderful stories to tell!

    (I wrote a series for a friend who was in love with a sax player in the marching band. The title was Love and Sax in the Ninth Grade or something like that.)

  3. I don't think any of us would think of you as "not creative". No way!

  4. I remember thinking kind of the same thing about having used up all my words and ideas on the non-creative stuff! Glad the flow came back to you...and it is now like a rushing cascade about to the break the dam! Very fun to follow you.

  5. I understand the need and the want to create something that is all your own.