I have to admit it feels a little strange to be offering up advice when most of my writing up until a few years ago landed between the pages of journals. Secret writing. Not something that was intended for an audience. In all of my journaling history I've never worried about spellcheck or poor grammar. And the daunting task of self-editing.... non-existent. No need to re-write. It's care-free writing.
Chapters, Coles or maybe even Staples are a few of my favourite stores where I go in search of that perfect journal. Each one has it's own unique cover. Trying to decide which one will come home with me can be a process. I like to run my fingers over the crisp blank pages that might soon house all my thoughts and cares.
On the odd occasion a silent scream rises in my chest when I spy the perfect journal without ever pressing my fingers against the grain. A cover instantly calls my name when I see its bright colour, read its poetic verse, or smell the bold scent of leather. Life is full of ups and downs. Journals are an anchor.
Then there's my need to sign up for a writing class. Three years ago I did just that. I enrolled in something of general interest. No pressure. No exams. Just writing for simple pleasure. Still, that class didn't come without digging up every ounce of courage I could muster. I was used to writing for my eyes only. The mere thought of another person reading my words was terrifying to say the least.
Amazing things happened since giving in to those fears. My confidence has grown. I'm encouraged to keep writing. And now I can honestly say, "I love it!" I look forward to signing up for more writing classes.
Here are some tips that motivate me:
- Keep writing and don't stop.
- Don't let negative feedback destroy your confidence.
- Follow your dreams.
- Find a writer's group or enroll in a writing class or program that will keep you connected to other writers.
- Find someone who will encourage you on your journey.
- Carry a pen and paper with you at all times.
- READ! How to books, novels, magazine articles. Change it up sometime. Read something you never thought would interest you.
- A thesaurus is a great writing tool.
Inside every person's heart lies a story.
"Writing is being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality and spirit and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page." ~ Mary Gaitskill
I write because God opened the door to my dream.