Why I Write – Writing 101

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

This past summer, I wrote a review for the Persephone books Classic, The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher.  It took me entirely too long to read the book()because of just me, not the book) and write a review.  But I sent in my review, back in August and I just received my Persephone biannual. In the section  Our Bloggers Write, my review, or at least a part of it, was included with other reader’s words. This is why I write. Not for accolades, though those are always nice, but I want a voice. I want my voice to be heard. I have connected with other authors from reviews I have written, which is great. I love being able to talk to other published writers. Sometimes I feel like they are in this other realm of writing that I might never reach, but then I have to remember that they are just people as well.

Last night reading the same biannual as above, the list of events for Persephone Books was listed and one caught my attention so much so that I had to write about it in my journal. This is what I said: ” I was reading the back of the Persephone Biannual where the events were listed, and  there is this event on November 28th where they will be “selling our books beside the fire at the Christmas Fair.” And boom! I was transported to the smell of snow, the sounds of children singing Carol of the Bells, and the Harry Potter/Columbia[California]/British Christmas feel. Like it was time to start decoration and reading books with a Christmas theme in them. Suddenly You comes to mind first…”  The book mentioned is by Lisa Kleypas, a favorite romance writer of mine. Please do not judge that I like cheesy romance books. Oh the horror that I don’t read just literature.  But it’s getting on the Holiday season and I want to read about it, and write about it. I have a piece of flash fiction I did a couple years ago that has a Christmas theme, and I’ve wanted to expound on it for years. There is something so delightful about having a Christmas vibe to a piece of fiction. You can read two of my holiday pieces below.

A Christmas Dance    (I was channeling Emilie Loring when I wrote this) and Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

This is why I write, above that is. I write because I will read something and I see a scene. I see a picture and there is a story behind it. I watch a bird take flight and I’m remembering my childhood and mentally writing a children’s story to something as simple and small as an acorn  in a bird’s beak.  I am forever having ideas pound, pound, pound in my head. For years I daydreamed, not knowing what to do with all the thoughts crashing around in my head. I didn’t have an outlet because I hated writing in school. I didn’t understand how to get a story out. I remember one instance where I was supposed to write a story about a monkey and instead I wrote a mini paper. It was a frustrating time. Writing was always frustrating until I Mrs. B found a new method of teaching me to write.  It was a ‘boom’ moment where suddenly it made sense. But even then, in my teenage years, while I would write hoping to write like Emilie Loring, I didn’t write constantly. I semi dabbled in it, spending more time reading.  It wasn’t until I hit 18 that I really started to write. Nothing really good, though Rena, my heroine still has her book, but it has changed drastically from the beginning.

I never knew what to do with all those thoughts floating around in my head. What does a child who hates to write, do with all those thoughts in her head.  If I could go back I would teach the inner me that it’s okay to write whatever you want in a journal and it does not have to be a day to day account of what you did. I would talk about what Susan Wooldridge said in her book about a journal.  Gah, if I had  Poemcrazy back when I started really writing, maybe life would have made a whole lot more sense.

I read constantly. Books, books, and more books are my world. I cannot get enough books. And I read good books and consume the words and the styles and the stories. I envy  writers who write something that I know I will never be able to write. I eat books that have a story that hits me in my chest and I walk around in a mental daze for days reliving the magic that has whirled me off into another world. I rarely think of books as another world or door I open and enter, but the minute I open the pages of a book I love, I have the image in my head. I can imagine the scene just so, and certain books I have read over and over, my initial image is still there. I read Emilie Loring’s and the image is always the same. So I read to meet those characters again.    I write to see if I can be as good as these writers. Writers I respect and admire. I want to be as good as them. I want some of the qualities of how they write. I read some books and think to myself “gah, I wish I could write that way.” Of course, I really don’t want to write just like them. I want my own voice. Which I do have. And because I read so much, I feel I have several voices, several writer’s voices in my head telling me how to write. The one I hate the most is Stephen King’s voice as he is forever telling me to cut the adverbs. Damn Stephen King.

And recently I have to keep remembering Anne Lamott telling me to shut those voices (mostly characters) up. Tell them to be quiet so I can write. So many voices in my head. No, I am not crazy. Maybe some schizophrenic people just need to write to quiet the voices….. Writing this I worry that someone might think I’m crazy, but other writers know.

People that do not write don’t get all of this. I don’t expect them to. I watch my father when I go off on a tangent or daydream and sometimes he just stares at me like I’m out in left field. I might be. I might actually be on the cliffs of England wondering what the sea spray is like.  You might never know, because five minutes ago I could have been in the Sierra Nevadas with Tyler and Phaedra as they are driving up the Sonora Pass…. (they are both characters as well……) Or I might have just killed off my character with Chocolate Pudding.

This is why I write.

Kate

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2 thoughts on “Why I Write – Writing 101

  1. This is a really good post. I feel the same way as you. If I can write and have a voice, then I would be complete. It really isn’t about awards or like you said accolades. It’s about getting our voices heard in the ocean of voices out there. That is the hardest thing, I think, about writing; but once you’ve been heard you’ll continue to be heard because you’ll talk loud and louder until you’re shouting; you’re a shouting voice that the next struggling writer will hear. That’s how I feel about it anyway 🙂

    Great blog!

    • Thank you so very much. I love to hear from someone who gets it. And It is so clear you do. I sometimes feel I’m screaming out “see me” and waiving my hand furiously to be noticed… yet at the same time I’m scared to death of raising my hand in class, so to speak. And I want to shout over the next writer, but at the same time support other writers. It’s a very weird situation to be in. I want to share my work with everyone, but I don’t like to push myself on anyone. It’s terrible. And clearly, obviously, wonderfully, you get it. Thank you.

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