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.