memoir, thoughts, writing

Everyone Writes

I’ve been writing since I was nine-years-old, but I wasn’t a writer.

As and adult, I used some poignant words that connected to some readers, but those readers were people I knew. I hadn’t shared it with too many others, probably because I knew deep down, I really wasn’t a writer … not quite yet anyway.

Everyone writes. Most people probably write in emails and at work every day. Oh, and texting, we’re such good writers at texting, aren’t we?

Then we have those who always wanted to write a book but didn’t have the time. Others are really good at story telling. You know, the one at the dinner table keeping everyone on the edge of their seats with a riveting story, or making you spit your drink through your nose because they’re so funny. People have told them, “You should write a novel.

Then, they write down their story and send it to a publisher. Everyone has told them how great their stories are, they must be publishable, right? They’ll be a best seller and make millions, right?

I too, came up with great scenarios for stories. I even wrote two novels (back in the day) during my lunch hours at work. I’d come home and type them into my Wordperfect program and print them out on my dot matrix printer. My friend read one of them and loved it. Of course, she was one of the main characters, why wouldn’t she like it? :::waving at said friend:::

Years after that novel, I wrote out a prologue for an entirely different story I hoped to finish as a book. I finally decided to show this one to strangers. After all, my other novel was a big hit with friends and family. I shared it with a local writer’s group and very quickly learned, I was not a writer.

As I continued on with the writer’s group, one day I submitted a travel memoir to them. The one criticism that sticks in my mind was from a wise elderly lady with lots of writing (and published) experience. She said, “you wee-wee’d all over your paper.”

What? Well, I wrote the memoir in the first person about my husband and me. I didn’t notice until she circled them all; I had paragraphs doused in the pronoun “we.” She was right, I did we-we all over my paper.

This is not to say that everyone who wants to be a writer, cannot be a writer. In fact, anyone can if they so desire. The keyword there is “desire.” There must be a burning desire to give birth to characters, their emotions, environments and their adventures. Writing is not just putting down a bunch of words that tell your story like you’ve spoken it out loud for years. It must be written like a beautiful melody, describing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches, transporting the reader out of real-life and into your world.

I’ve read many people who write, and they have much potential. However, a writer is someone who spends hours honing their story into publishable form.

A writer is always willing to learn new ways of showing a scene and creating dynamic dialogue. Is there a new way to show something that no one else has done before? Is there a character so unique it intrigues the audience? A writer spends time honing their craft. They go to workshops and put to use constructive criticism to create text into a living, breathing world.


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26 thoughts on “Everyone Writes”

  1. For 25 years, I was a professional speaker (as in, yes, I did get paid and fairly well, for it). I’m a decent story teller.
    On the other hadn, I write, but I’m not a writer. But on the plus side – at least I know it, right? 😉

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    1. Hey Debbie, I’ve read many people’s work who think they can write stories, but don’t realize the work and effort it takes to prepare it for publication, which was basically the reason for the blog post.

      I would’ve loved to hear you speak. That is something I’m not sure that I could do. Your talent for motivating and inspiring is endless. 🙂

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  2. Great post! I’m not sure I’ve made it to full-blown writer status yet…maybe more of a writer in training wheels.

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  3. Quite all inclusive here you really hit on a lot. I think everyone is a writer. If I am, believe me anyone can be. 🙂 I do think that “desire” is so important because I breathe writing (and don’t often admit that). And there’s so much more to it than just he actual sitting down and writing, so one has to want and enjoy and be challenged by it. Just thinking out loud here cause you got me sitting here getting in a fever about it! hahah

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  4. Lori, I get this! I am an artist, and so is everyone else. There is a difference between a hobbyist and a professional, and there is a difference between someone who calls themselves a professional and someone who is focused on earning a living at it.

    In many of the discussions about “what is art?”, these differences aren’t pointed out. Makes for great confusion and ridiculous hurt feelings.

    Artists make art; professional artists sell art; serious professional artists are intentional about growing their skills and their business.

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  5. You’re so right! I love to write on my blog and on occasion, someone has remarked that I should write something more extensive. For a while I thought I might give it some effort, but quickly realized that as much as I love to write my blog, I don’t have it in me to do anything more.

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    1. If you don’t mind my saying Terri, your writing for your blog is well done. I enjoy them. I think if you have the desire to write something more extensive, you WILL have it in you. Your readers, like myself, enjoy your blog because you enjoy writing it. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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  6. Thank you for visiting the PCA blog and liking the As A Man Thinketh post. Keep on writing and open to new ways to present your material. Continued Success In All You Do, Jay

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  7. This is really a GREAT post, Lori! I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot: what makes a person a writer? Just because you write, doesn’t make you a writer. Does blogging make you a writer? I don’t think so. You hit the nail on the head: writes spend time honing their craft. Writer now that writing is rewriting. When I was a reporter, I used to do as many as six drafts of my pieces. (I had to cut that down to three because the typical reader couldn’t tell the difference between my sixth draft and my third!)

    People who don’t spend time honing their skills are NOT writers. And I’m not just talking about taking writing classes or workshops. I’m talking about studying great writing.

    One woman I know told me that she is writing a romance novel. I said, “Great! Who’s your favorite romance writer?” “I don’t read romances,” she said. What?!! I told her, “How can you write a good romance without knowing how it’s done?” Sadly, I’ve heard this before. Too many so-called writers don’t read. Writers must write AND read!

    Years ago, I wanted to get an opinion piece published in The New York Times. I spent hours reading Pulitzer Prize winning pieces so that I could understand what makes a great opinion piece. As a result, the first opinion piece I ever submitted to the NYT was published.

    Again, Lori, I really appreciated this post and I’m going to quote you: writers spend time honing their craft. Thanks for letting me rant!

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    1. No problem, Wayne, rant away. I’ve read works of people who think they can write, but they don’t realize they didn’t put enough work into it yet. I’m never quite sure what to say when I’m reading what looks like a rough, rough, rough draft but they think it’s a publishable piece.

      Your comment reminded me of last night at my writer’s group. My fellow writers were dropping author’s names they’ve read, and I never heard of them. I thought, geez, I better get to reading more. Then I realized, they were fantasy authors. I read memoirs because that’s what I write. Go figure. Thanks for reading this post and commenting, Wayne. Have a great weekend.

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        1. Great strip Wayne. Gotta sharpen that Shiv before it can work properly. 😉 Thank you so much for sharing my link as your inspiration. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks so much, Millie. I don’t really spend much time looking over my writing for my blog posts, but my stories, well, that’s ANOTHER story. Heh. Thanks again. 🙂

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