A week or so ago, my friend Carolyn and I had an exchange that amounted to my answer to the most basic question I am asked from people wanting to write, which boils down to: “Am I good enough?” Let me make clear: I do not read people’s work. I made an exception for my friend, and we decided to share our exchange for anyone who wants to write, or indeed start out on any endeavor.
Dear Curtiss Ann,
I believe I have told you that my mother is in an Alzheimers Unit and that I have been writing short stories of our journey through this disease. I have an aunt and cousin who are begging me to have them published or to blog them. My cousin is also wanting to have me speak at geriatric seminars. OK, they are family, they are biased. Would you be willing to read a couple of the stories and give me an honest opinion? I have also written a short story that I put together to enter into a contest that I read about, but never did send it in. One of my daughters has said that I could make money by blogging. Is this true? I just thought blogging was like making your diary public. As for speaking, I’m not sure that I could really do that. I am still the person with lots of questions myself, not the person with the answers. If you agree to read a couple of the stories, I trust your opinion. Please be honest. Also, do not feel obligated to say yes. I know you are busy, and have your own obligations and time stealers.
Yes, I can read say three of your pieces of your journey with your mother, and be happy to do so and give you honest particular feedback.
But now I can tell you for certain I do not need to read them. You are a voracious reader, the number one attribute of a writer. You also are writing, the second attribute of a writer. You already have stored in your brain all you need to write and to write well. To write very well, you have to do the actual writing. Writing begets writing.
Blogging– yes, you can make money at it. Some do, but those some are real go-getters. I do not make any. Yet, I urge you to blog, because what you will get from blogging is a reason to write, as well as people will find their way to your blog about your Alzheimers journey, and believe me, you will help countless people. Blogging will teach you writing. Blogging can be greatly enjoyable. I encourage you to give it a try and see if it is for you. The first place to start, though, is reading many blogs.
As for speaking–honey, you know far more than you think you do. No one knows everything. The whole point is that this is a ‘journey’. If the opportunity presents itself, do go for it. You never know until you try.
Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say. ~Brenda Ueland, writer and teacher
Starting Monday Out Right…
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
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Dear God, let me be aware of all the power, love and self-discipline already implanted in me. Let me listen to the still, strong voice within, believe in myself, and go for it! Amen.
6 thoughts on “Writing Advice”
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Thank you again for your advice and encouragement. I have taken them both to heart, and you will be the very first one to know when the blog becomes a reality. You have helped me find my own voice. Many hugs to a very special friend!!
Great advice, Curtiss Ann!!!! I, too, needed to hear that!!
Do you have ESP? 🙂
No me, but God sure does, Dana! 🙂
Best advice to a writer or a wannabe I’ve read on any blog. Thank you.
Thanks, Mack. The thing about what I write, what anyone writes, to help someone else is that it is just what I needed to hear, too. I’ve thought about it all morning as I’ve pressed on with a writing project.