When I first realized I wanted to write I wasn’t aware of how it would impact my life. My first writing project was an administrative manual for a job I held for more than eight years. I wasn’t sure on how to begin putting together a manual that anyone could read, understand and find useful. But, I can tell you once I put my fingers to the keys and started, it was like someone opened the garage door and let the sunlight in. Since that moment I have been reading, writing and thinking about what to write next. So far, I’ve learned a number of things about writing and its process. Five things have been consistent.
I see writing ideas everywhere.
On the street, with my family and friends. Some ideas will require research and asking an expert. Some ideas have been done over and over, but I can put a different twist on them. Some ideas are way out there and need to be kept there. I have been lucky and haven’t had to visit a site to seek out writing prompts.
I eat, sleep and drink writing.
I keep a journal close so I can jot ideas down. I have awaken many times in the middle of the night with a story or article idea. I carry notepads and a planner with me everywhere I go just in case something strikes me. I keep my phone handy so I can take a snapshot of an interesting piece of art or someone doing something funny. I have been caught without pen and paper and never wanted that to happen again.
I know when to put a topic to rest.
Sometimes I get so hurried when I am writing that I’m not sure that I wrote what I meant. I get sidetracked or my brain is working faster than my fingers can type. So, I write the article and leave it alone for a few days. I come back to it, read it, and make necessary adjustments. Or, I may scrap the whole thing and start over.
It doesn’t get old.
It can be frustrating when I am looking for the right words. I keep a thesaurus and dictionary close by for quick reference. Sometimes I use them sometimes I don’t. Shame on me. Even with frustrations I don’t ever want to stop. If I stop writing it would be because I am physically not able to. Heaven forbid that ever happens. Talking about writing and sharing ideas with other writers will never get old.
Editing is just part of the process.
One thing I’ve learned and most writers know is that editing is just a part of writing. We’ve all edited projects over and over. I write on paper first so you can just imagine what a page might look like. Scribbles and scratches with words written above and below, it’s a mess. I actually love my writing process and the editing that goes along with it.
I love writing and recommend it to everyone I meet. I have lots of folks who’ve come to me asking questions about where to start. It’s true we all have a story to tell. The hard part is sitting down to do it. What have you learned about your writing?