How much do you love writing? Do you love to write? Do you love talking about writing? Do you love having written? Seeing your finished product in print or listed on Amazon? If you lost your ability to put pen to paper or type, would you voice it all to continue your passion?
I was curious about all these questions and, after thinking about my answers, I realized some things. First, I do love writing. I’ve always loved writing and thought the simple idea of putting my own thoughts and feelings into words on paper was the best, coolest thing ever. It still is! And when other people read them and liked them–wow! That meant more than finding buried treasure in the backyard.
But does that mean you have to write every day? For some writers, the answer is yes. For me, no. I don’t write every day. Sometimes, I don’t write for weeks at a time. Sometimes, I don’t feel like writing. Some days, I’d rather read or brainstorm new ideas. Other days, I proofread and edit my stories. Does that mean I’m avoiding the writing process? Am I blocked? I don’t think so. I think writing is different for everyone and my writing non-schedule works for me.
However, I’m the type of person who needs deadlines. I need a goal to reach in a timely manner, and that’s why I loved school and writing groups. I can and do set my own goals and deadlines, but there’s one big one I try to do so I know I write at least one draft of a manuscript every year.
NaNoWriMo. National novel writing month. If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend you check it out–https://nanowrimo.org. You can sign up to participate with thousands of others around the globe to reach your goal of 50,000 words during the thirty days of November. I’ve finished several years and I love the challenge and deadline.
I also love talking about writing. But I’ve found that unless the person is sincerely interested, it’s not so much fun talking about my current manuscript or story ideas. Talking to other writers and, if you’re lucky, your fans, is a joy that’s hard to describe unless you’re a writer too.
I self-publish my books on Amazon. Right now, they are only available on kindle. But, I willingly admit, I love going to my author page and seeing the covers of my books there for anyone and everyone to find, buy and read! Sometimes I still can’t believe that self-publishing exists and I made my books happen. They’re out in the world and, despite sales figures, that’s a dream come true.
I also love writing my blogs and, before the wonderful internet, I did see some of my work in print. Two of my poems and a biographical piece I wrote in honor of my grandmother were published in school literary journals. There is beauty in seeing your name in print and holding that journal or book with your words in it.
As a child, a teenager and in my early twenties, I wrote in journals and notebooks. Yes. Longhand. Cursive. That’s all I knew. I started using a word processor in my twenties (I guess I’m giving away my age!) and then a computer. Today, I mostly use my Macbook, except for my poetry which I prefer to write in notebooks. For me, there’s something very personal and intimate about a poem that has to be written on paper.
So would I continue to write if I lost the use of my hands? Would I feel comfortable voicing my poetry or stories into a microphone? Or dictate them to a typist? I honestly don’t know. I hope never to find out but, if I do lose the ability of my hands, I like to think I would find a way to keep working.
Like Billy Crystal’s character says to Danny DeVito’s in the classic movie Throw Momma from the Train–“Remember, a writer writes, always.”
How about you? Do you write no matter what? I’d love to hear your thoughts.