Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Challenge of Being a "Writer"

Are you a writer of any kind?  Do you like the satisfaction of getting creative ideas down on "paper"?  Whether its a story, a blog, poetry, news, etc? I am no pro, but writing, I have learned, brings me joy.  Good or bad, I call myself a writer.  Not because I am published, well known or even good at it, but the joy it really does bring me, the life that it gives, is enough for me to call myself a writer.

The earliest memory I have of writing is 12, I think. It could have been younger but I am not sure. I remember writing a story based off of a story I heard one day on Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown.  I think that is my earliest memory of the writing bug.

Since then I had written lots of beginnings to stories, poetry, song lyrics, and now blogs.  Whenever the inspiration hits, I'd sit down and write.  Up until about a year ago, that was all in secret. I rarely let people into that part of me.  Mostly because I didn't think my writing was worth anything.  I was afraid of being judged or worse ridiculed for the things I wrote.  The idea of blogging those ideas sounded like torture to me. How could anyone put themselves out there like that.  That was until I started doing it.  Now, the funny thing is, I forget sometimes that people might even read them.  Maybe its a defense mechanism.  When people actually make comments about something I wrote, I am pretty amazed that they even read it.

Like with many things in life, with the joy of writing comes great pain and discomfort.  The challenges of being a writer can be overwhelming at times. I am sure its the same challenges anyone has with something they love.

One of the biggest challenges I have is actually getting it down on paper and out of my head.  The inspiration often comes at the most inconvenient times.  On the subway, in a meeting, during church, on a run, while i am talking to someone.... What do you do in those times when sitting down to get the idea out would actually cause strife, judgement or anxiety.  Just the fear of those things will often scare the idea back into the hole it crawled out of.

Sometimes I will have a great idea for a blog or story and I will be in a place where I can actually stop and write it down but in the 2-3 minutes it takes to get to your pen or keyboard it fades away.  Other times, thats when some urgent call or IM comes in.  Ideas are often like mice.  They show up suddenly with no warning, scurrying across your feet and then as soon as you acknowledge them and react they quickly scamper away.

One of the challenges I often face is the fear of judgement.  I am afraid either someone will flat out reject something I wrote or they will judge me for what I said.  I feel this more so for my stories and poetry then I do my blogs.  There are so many bloggers out there with so many differing opinions that its easy to write someone or some piece off as an isolated opinion.  But with fiction, it seems much more intense.   There, too, are a lot of fiction writers out there, but the critics can be much more brutal, at least that's what I think.  The grays of blogging seem more digestible then the black and whites of fiction writing.

Most writing, often my best writing, comes from a personal place.  I can be creative but it usually is birthed out of something I am going through or my observation of what others are going through.  Especially relating to my blogs, I often want to speak to something going on in my life or the lives closest to me.  Not in a way that hurts someone but more what I am learning or struggling with in relation to that experience.  Regardless, I know that if I blog about it, the person or people who are part of that story will know its about them and could potentially be offended, hurt or just angry that you put their story out there.

There are other challenges I face but these are the biggest for me.  Over the last few weeks, I have been much more intentional with my writing.  Making sure I schedule it in on my off days.  Its been TRULY cathartic for me as I get things out of my head.  Its almost as if someone else is writing and I am learning from them.  I feel like I have grown more in the last couple of weeks due largely to the amount I am writing.  My fiction writing has been hiding a little but I know its there ready to come out.  

1 comment:

  1. Kim,
    I appreciated your post so much. I too am an aspiring writer these days. I just went to the AWP Writer's conference in Chicago. It was a great learning experience. I struggle with putting myself out there and being totally transparent because of fear of judgement and rejection, but writing has be very cathartic for me. You can read my blog at
    Keep up the good work!


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