I honestly don’t know who I am as a writer. I don’t believe I have the Great American Novel in me as some writers do, but I do believe I have many stories inside of me that I need to tell. I have ideas I want to share, both factual and fictional, so I write.
I have a tendency to write what I think and feel, which is what most people do when they write but, for some reason, it feels different to me. I write what I can, when I can, and I enjoy it. I may get on my little soapbox and rant about something that offends me or I may have an original idea that I turn into a short story. I run the gamut of all kinds of writing. I don’t believe in limitations.
Perhaps I’m just an old fashioned essayist or, possibly, a short story writer or merely a blogger in search of a subject. But I also write poetry, keep a journal and do analytical writing for legal briefs. I think that, all of this combined, helps to make me a better writer.
But what does kind of writer does that make me? I wish I knew. It certainly seems like I’m fairly well-rounded as a writer but I know I have limitations.
I’m detail oriented. I want what I say to be clear and concise. I want it to express exactly what I’m thinking and feeling. I am creative and imaginative. I can usually take nothing and make it into something. I think outside the box, which I believe is a good strength to have. It leads to originality and trains of thought that most people won’t, or can’t, think of or follow.
But I do have a number of faults, as well. Not the least of which is procrastination. I tend to delay getting things done. I get them done, but not always when I should. This is not a good thing when you have a writing project to get done within a certain length of time.
I also need to learn to budget my time better so that I can write more. I need to be more disciplined in what I do. To take all the notes and ideas that I’ve written on scraps of paper and the backs of napkins and actually sit down and make them come to life.
Another fault, at least I think it’s a fault, is that I’m not truly comfortable with other people reading what I write. I write it for that purpose, but I’m embarrassed by it. It’s almost as if I shouldn’t be able to do it if other people can’t do it. But, the dichotomy is, I’m proud of being able to write well.
I also have trouble embellishing the stories I write. I don’t “b.s.” well. Instead of lengthy prose, I usually end up saying what I mean to say….short and sweet. Then I have to go back and flesh out the story, often several times. If I was a better writer, or less detail oriented, it probably wouldn’t be that way. The words would flow more easily and I would flesh things out automatically. Be more descriptive in my writing. I guess, deep inside, I want to be a Stephen King type of writer. One who can create solid characters, use immense detail and make the story totally believable. That’s what I’m striving for.
Then, there are the times I have so much to say that I can’t get it all down coherently. The ideas come so quickly that I have real trouble keeping up with them sometimes. My fingers don’t type nearly as fast as my brain races! I really should use a tape recorder for those moments when my brain starts racing but I never seem to think of it in time.
I truly enjoy writing stories. I like to let my imagination run free. But I also enjoy doing analytical papers. Theses, if you will. I enjoy the research and finding a different angle that no one has explored before and seeing how far I can logically take it.
What I hate to do is take someone else’s work and try to make sense of it. To try and turn it into something that everyone can understand. I shouldn’t have to do that. It should be automatic to the writer.
And there you see my other pet peeve. People who can’t write clearly, coherently , with punctuation or interestingly. Nothing irritates me more than picking up a book that looks really good only to find out that the writer is disorganized and uses a “form” style of writing. I want originality, not someone following a form of writing. I try to avoid this in my own writing. I just hope I succeed.
I find inspiration in many things. News articles, my backyard, driving along, a conversation in a bar, snowfall…..all kinds of strange things inspire me. It’s no one thing that gets me thinking and writing. I can find ideas just about everywhere. I find reality fascinating. And I find people and their histories interesting, as well.
Having been writing since the age of 8, I have piles of finished and unfinished stories, poems, essays, theses, articles, and more. It’s hard for me to think of which one I liked the best and which ones received the most praise.
It could have been the paper I did in high school on suicide or the thesis I prepared in college on Daniel DeFoe and his book “Moll Flanders”. Both were extremely well accepted and the latter was almost published by my professor. They were well researched and had a novel twist to them. It wasn’t the “same stuff, different day” writing of other students.
Personally, that’s what I enjoy doing. Finding that different twist to a story or research paper. I enjoy surprising people who read what I write even though I’m embarrassed at the same time.
Without having the outlet of writing, I think I would lose my mind. So, I write.