Saturday, December 8, 2012

In The Beginning...

In my November 27th post, when I asked my readers to submit questions, I received a one about writing from Brandi Boddie of Penning Praises.


Her Question:
I've been reading your blog for a little over a year, but I wanted to know how you got started writing.
At first, I had a simple, quick answer for this question, but then it occurred to me that it is not as simple as I first thought. Honestly, my answer would have to be 'I don't know.'

My original answer was only going to address this blog. My daughter had just started dating a boy who showed me his blog. He had one as a result of a school assignment, but still maintained it because he enjoyed doing it. In his blog, he critiqued events that happened in pop culture. He gave his take on recent songs, dance crazes, movies, etc.

After he showed me around his site, he said, "You should start one. It's really a lot of fun."

So I did...it really was that simple. It was something to do. Why not?

That was October of 2010. It took me a little while to discover my voice, but once I did my readership started to grow. However, upon further reflection, I can't really say that was the beginning of my writing.

Everyone writes in school. There are pages and pages of things I wrote in elementary and high school that no longer exist. I don't even remember them. I really don't remember writing until my senior year of high school. That year I took Journalism. I didn't take it because I was interested in writing. I needed four English credits and really didn't want to take English IV. I had heard it was a horrible class and hoped to avoid it. Journalism would give me the last credit that I needed.

The class was awesome. There were only twelve of us in the class and we ran the school newspaper. It published once every two weeks. We were each responsible for filling two pages worth of material. That was it! There were no tests, nothing to study for, and no real assignments. Just write.

Tipping your hat to a lady:
What if it's a man in drag?
We each had our specialties. One person covered sports. Another paid attention to the various clubs. I was the entertainment editor. Which basically meant I did a movie review in every issue. Beyond that, I could write whatever I wanted and I did. Most of it was humor based, like the stuff I write now. I created one recurring feature similar to Dear Abby where I answered questions about proper etiquette, however I was also the person writing the letters. The questions posed to me were always some incredible, bizarre situation asking my advice on how to properly handle it. For a different article about how to convincingly feign sickness in order to stay home from school, I won a state journalism award.

I loved that class, but never really considered myself a writer. I put my pen down as soon as I graduated. My first semester of college, I was in a creative writing class. I didn't choose this class. It was required.

The professor made us keep a writing journal. On top of any other assignments we may have, we had to make an entry in that journal every time we had class. It was a totally open assignment. We could write a poem, tell a story, log what we had for breakfast, anything. I wish I still had that journal. I was really proud of some of the stuff that was in there. I lost it during one of my moves about 10 years later.

I loved that class as well, but for some reason never pursued an interest in writing. Once the class was over, I stopped writing. That was 1989 and other than the occasional letter from the mission field years later or required college papers, I never wrote again until I started this blog.

Now that I am writing all the time, I love it. I wish I had never stopped. I even have a few book ideas in mind. I don't know if I will ever get published, but at least one of the books will be written. We'll just have to see where it goes from here.

6 comments:

  1. I hate that I wasted 20 years not writing. But I'm so happy i googled "how to start a blog"

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    1. It's a lot of fun, isn't it? I love the blogging community as well. I've made a lot of friends. Even if I've never actually met most of them.

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  2. I'm kinda the same way... I always enjoyed writing in school and in college I actually enjoyed writing (some) papers.

    But it wasn't until my junior year of college that I started taking it somewhat seriously, even though my major was Computer Science. And then a couple years after college I started the blog.

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    1. Looking back, I realize that I have always enjoyed it. I wish I had started sooner.

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  3. It's weird, because it felt like you were telling my story! I wrote in high school and college (well, even before high school) and loved it, but then somehow just stopped. The most creative I was in the time between then and now was when I was in Honduras, writing home to my sponsers (mission field, like you.) And I really wrote some fantastic letters! I say that, because, looking back, it was my love of writing trying to burst out, but I didn't get it. Then I started my blog and I was floored at how quickly I realized how important this writing part of me was to me, and that I hadn't even known it was missing.

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    Replies
    1. I remember really enjoying my missions letters as well. I tried to put out one at least every two months. It was fun compiling the stories and deciding what to put in there.

      Now I know that I will never stop writing.

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