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….. writing

July 26, 2017

What is it about words?  What makes them interesting, compelling, upsetting, funny, competitive, enticing, addictive?

Why are some of us drawn not only to the reading of words, but the writing of words?

How do we become competent writing words?

I have always loved words, well most words.  I cannot ingest scary words strung together to create fear.  I abhor words that draw pictures of hate, anger, injustice.

Still, I love words.  In a small town of the 50’s, the Carnegie library was a focal point.  Built of imposing brick, located on the main street in the center of town, the doors opened to worlds unknown.

I can remember the children’s section, low shelves, picture books first, then moving to reading my first words about Dick, Jane and Sally.  Onto the young adult section, small and tucked into a corner, all ruled by the librarian, Ruth Hodges.  As a child she seemed stern.  A child in a small town 60 years ago was allowed to roam, to roam all the way, 6 blocks, ‘uptown’ to the library.  And, to check out all the book that could be carried home!  A stack of books…

Particularly in the summer, the stack of books signaled hours of enjoyment, blanket laid out on the shady side of the house, full sugar Kool-Aid… and some homemade cookies…

Oh, right, we are talking books!  And how the reading of books can lead to an interest in writing….

Perhaps the more words we read, the more interested we may become in writing our own words, using the word patterns that suit our personality.

As if it were yesterday, I remember moving into the stacks of books for adults.  No one said I could not, but no one said I could either.  It was a bit uncomfortable, the stacks were tall, there were so very many books.  Our high school literature teacher helped with a list of the 100 books we must read.  At that time the list included classics, Jane Eyre is still my favorite, and best sellers such as 7 Days in May.  Hmm, I wish I had kept that list and kept in touch with that teacher!

I worked on the list, marking off the books as I read them, and began to write… for the school newspaper… validating my interest in writing words..

Looking back, a writing class in college provided negative feedback, I was not writing ‘correctly’.  Coming from that tiny town to a huge, 1500 students, college, I was intimidated and stopped believing I could write.

Over the years opportunities to write happened… various types and styles of writing.  I began to enjoy setting words on a page again.

Which brings us, in that roundabout way, to now.  I want to write, I want to write consistently, I want to be read, and perhaps even published.  Greedy me!

Our nephew has self published an amazing book, fiction based on real life experience.  It continues to sell, and I have ready to read a draft of his next book.  A shirttail relative and friend, has an anthology of short stories coming out this fall and has published one short story already.

From them, I am learning that writing is work, it is a discipline, it is art, art that requires total engagement, deep thought, and much time either with paper and pen, or in front of the screen.

Recently I read a book of fiction, the main character was a writer.  He ‘spoke’ of his writing habits, 8 hours a day at the desk.  Words or no words, the discipline of 8 hours at the desk.

Yesterday I did not blog, I didn’t have a story in my head, heart, mind, so I did not begin.  Today is the same, but like so many things, once you lose the habit, the habit is lost and it may be weeks/months/years until the behavior returns.  I do NOT want to lose this behavior, so I opened by blog page and sat in front of the blank screen.

I took a break and planted some gift Hostas.

I came back to the page.  I fought the urge to check my email, my Twitter, the latest on Donald Trump, and I looked at the page.

Finally I wrote the word ….writing.  Because that is what this is all about, writing… writing for me, writing to see how it feels, looks, reads.  Writing to see if  there is something there, writing to write.






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