Are You a writer?
Recently I have been thinking about why I write. It has caused me to take a trip down Memory Lane. The first time I ever read to a class of children was at the ripe old age of six. I had a knack for reading aloud so my first grade teacher sent me down to a kindergarten class for story time. I felt so proud. After that I was always obsessed with books.
One weekend my sister and I took all of our books and turned them into a library. We pasted envelopes inside to hold the cards we used for “checking out” our books. My mom had brought home some out of date forms that were in triplicate. I thought it was so cool that you could write on the top page and it would make a copy on subsequent pages. They made our library check-out cards even cooler.
I probably shouldn’t be sharing all of this memory lane stuff. I mean how old am I, right? I’m sure many of you have never actually signed out a book from a library. Computers do everything now, and I’m glad for that. All of this about books matters because it is why I started to write and is leading to a list of reasons why I write. And I don’t just write children’s books. I am more. That last sentence will make sense a bit later so hang with me.
So, here is what I write.
- I write songs. Some of which charted on contemporary christian radio stations across the country back in the day (again with avoiding the age thing). or I could roll with it and say that I have aspired to, “Write the songs that make the whole world sing”.
- I also write screenplays. I had one make the semi-finals of an international screenplay competition. Hopefully, someday you will see them on the big screen (or any screen for that matter).
- I have penned, produced and directed a few one act plays that were performed here locally.
- I write lesson plans. Some subjects I use a good old fashioned textbook, like with math. But with literature, history, even geography and science, though I may use a textbook as a reference, I like to find my own ways to approach them. It’s just the way I am.
- And then, as you can find on this site, I have added children’s books to that list.
- Finally, I am a professional list writer. Okay, maybe not professional. Perhaps obsessive would be the right word. I am super duper good at writing lists. I just haven’t figured out how to carry out what is on them. Except for grocery lists. Food? That’s different.
But here is what I don’t like to write.
- I am a terrible letter writer. I can never think of what to say. I had a pen pal once when I was young (notice I said once) and every letter started the same…”Hello, how are you? I am fine… riveting, I know.
- I despise copy-writing (you know, where you take information about something like cellulite cream or a cat spa and make everybody want to jump on board.) Ironically, I have a son who is great at copy-writing and “Hey, Mikey. He likes it!” (I know, that quote just dated me too).
So all of that brings us to this very insightful list of:
The 5 Reasons Why I Write
- I can’t help myself. I am that person who has nine notebooks lying around the house. It was my intention to have some sort of ordering to these books. You know one is for homeschooling lessons and ideas, another is for blog post ideas, another is for grocery lists, and so on. But eventually they all get mixed together. then I decide to start over. But I can’t bring myself to throw out a notebook that still has blank pages in it, can I?
- My brain is filled with stories that are clamoring to break out of the prison which is my mind and come to life. I lay in bed at night developing characters and going over scenarios. My husband says he can hear the gears turning. My kids can have an entire conversation with me that I never really hear because the hero is about to stand up for the little guy and I have to rehearse the dialogue until it is just right. Sadly, there have been times I have missed whole sections of movies because I am searching for the appropriate rhyme to go with “Archibald”.
- Because words are worth a thousand pictures. Okay, here it comes. When I have a story in my head (and I have been known to have several at any given time) I actually see it. If I can’t envision the story I don’t write it. And every time I tweak a description or alter the dialogue the picture changes a bit. I love what I see in my head. Which brings me to…
- I love it. It is a simple as that. I’ve never really had writers block because if I get stumped for a while I just set that piece aside and work on something else. Then inevitably when I least expect it, I’m back on track with what I has set aside. I totally understand writers who will say, “This book has been twelve years in the making”, or something like that. It doesn’t always work that way. I had one screenplay that I completed the rough draft in a matter of days. It just came gushing out. Of course, there were rewrites and refinement. But the basics of the entire plot were there from the start. Writing is a joy to me. It is fun. It is therapeutic. And I enjoy it when other people read something I wrote and get pleasure out of it.
- I am more. In “Batman Begins” Bruce Wayne has been caught being a fool by the woman he cares about, and he responds, “Rachel, I am…more.” What most people see when they look at me is a wife, a mom, a cook, a grocery shopper ( and don’t get me wrong, these things are enough for a fulfilled life), but writing is the way I let people see the “more” part of me.
At the beginning this post I asked if you write? I want to know. Why do you write? Are there things you don’t like to write. And beyond that…
What makes you more?
I have friends I envy for their ability to be the kool-aid mom. You know the one, she’s always having her kid’s friends over or taking them places because she has the grace for all of that energy and noise. She is more.
I have a niece who is a mild mannered accountant by day and a kick butt rock climber in the evenings and weekends. She is more.
My other niece may work in the healthcare industry but she designs jaw-dropping jewelry in her spare time. She is more.
My thirteen year old daughter is a fairly typical girl most of the time, but get her doing a musical on stage and she turns into a diva. She is more.
Me? I am a fairly low key individual, but put a pencil in my hand or a keyboard under my fingertips and I become a writer. I am more.
I really, really, really want you to share with me what you feel makes you more. We all have something. Even if it is being an amazing listener. Don’t underestimate the value of that. So, share in the comments below or email me so I can ooh and aah at your “more-ness”. Please do it right now. Then share this post everywhere and if you haven’t already, sign up for our email so we can keep in touch. Oh, and if you have a rhyme for Archibald…?