Thursday, July 7, 2011

I am a Writer

Writing feels tricky today. I have been thinking about what I might write since about 9 last night.  Ideas flow through my head and I try to sit and catch one, but it quickly heads down the river of my mind and I feel a little crazy.  That is the point of this blog exercise- to discipline myself for writing.  The problem is that I am not good with discipline.  Writing feels so much easier on the mornings I wake up with a topic in my head that is beating on the out door of my brain.  But, if I only wrote when that happened I would have approximately five pieces of writing a year.  That is probably not the proper amount of work for someone who one day hopes to be a published author. 

Speaking of that,  I did a little test yesterday.  I went to other blogs and you know what I found?  There are millions and millions of people who blog in the hopes of becoming a published author.  Right away I went to the place of "I'm screwed."  "These people are a thousand times better than me."  "Who wants to read my crap."  "I don't even know if I use quotation marks appropriately and what the frig with commas!"  Get ready because this entry is about to tell you how Taylor Swift helped bring me back to reality-  and, I think if I do that well, I should earn a published book just for that alone.

So, I said to myself, "Self, you need a gimmick,  a THING that motivates people to read your stuff."  Currently, as those who read my stuff know, I am random and a bit all over the place.  If I could only lasso my ideas and make them all about one topic like, adoption or the loss of my mom or why schools have pajama days then perhaps I can gimmick my way into publishing.  (PS:  I have now officially made it so you have to follow my blog to get some of my witty banter!!!  i.e.  pajama days)  Hold please, "Self, what the frig with i.e.? who even knows what that means, but it seems to fit right there.)

I walked away from those blogs feeling that I was going to roll around ideas until I came away with one topic to stay focused on.  That felt big, that felt like the ultimate discipline and quite honestly, I have tried that before and it is just really hard because whatever bangs on the out door is what I have to let out and I cannot just make it be about a certain topic.  Cue serious teacher thoughts here about the way we teach children to write~ here's your forty minutes, go be brilliant, and don't forget your beginning, middle, and end! 

Now let us enter Claire's boutique where my daughter ended up buying herself fake glasses.  (That is a whole other blog entry so try to put that out of your mind for now.)  Those who know me well know that shopping for me is an in and out experience.  You have a thing you need, you run into the store to get it, you stay focused only on that one thing, you pay the person and get out, mission accomplished.  Cut to a nurture vs. nature argument and my daughter who looks at each and every thing in a store a few thousand times before deciding to buy, well usually, candy!  To make it through I need to find something to read and Claire's happens to be selling a book about Taylor Swift.  My daughter and I went to see her in concert recently and I was taken with her and her dresses that are appropriate and her songs about love and heartache that don't contain a single swear.  Taylor writes most of her own songs.  They come from her heart and her heartache.  She describes keeping a recording device by her bed so that if she wakes up with a song idea she can record the idea so she doesn't forget.  She said she hears other song writers talk about going through dry spells where they can't write and Taylor doesn't relate to that because writing is how she gets through hard times and is like breathing to her.  She said that and I get that.  Then when asked what she would say to people who want to write songs, she said, don't try to write to make money or to become famous.  Write from the heart about things that matter to you.  Brilliant!

And so, I will continue to work on disciplining myself to write every weekday.  I will continue to sit quietly throughout the day to listen to what is trying to get out.  I will write because it feels like I am putting the last piece into a jigsaw puzzle every time I do a writing piece (whether edited or not) and that is an insanely big high to be on each morning.  And hopefully, I will write for an audience who at some point says,  "Jen, there is a nugget of gold here you can build on."  But, in the end, I don't believe writers are writers because they are published.  Writers are writers because they have something to say and they enjoy doing it through writing.  And, you can quote me!


  1. Writing is definitely one of the hardest but most fulfilling thing I've ever done. A friend once gave me this advice when I was trying to write but the words weren't coming: start in the middle. start with what hurts.
    It's the best advice I ever got. I go back to it all the time.
    Can't wait to keep reading.

  2. Thanks, Alysia. Sounds like excellent advice!