Write What You Know

Sunday

 

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t enjoy reading and writing. The earliest memory I have of enjoying a book is in third grade. My teacher brought the entire class to the front of the room, ahead of all our desks. We all sat on the floor and we read Frog & Toad Are Friends. I always enjoyed reading books in school, and reading aloud. I know not everyone felt the same way.

Frog and Toad

Reading textbooks wasn’t always so much fun. Sometimes the required readings weren’t enough to grab my attention, but I remember one book that sucked me in so quickly. We were assigned a chapter or two per night, but I read The Outsiders all in one night when I was in 7th grade. I couldn’t put it down. From that point on, I didn’t have any hesitancy in reading anything, including books for school.

TheOutsiders

My love for writing was Discovered in a similar way. I think my sixth grade English Class is where I can pinpoint it. The first 15 minutes of class were always designated for “free writing”. We all had journals made of notebook paper and construction paper. That was my absolute favorite 15 minutes of my school day. Sometimes there were writing prompts, and other times, it was just free writing.

It’s important for me to think back and reflect on things like this because as an adult, there’s no one there to tell you to sit down for 15 minutes and write something out. Having a writing routine is so important, and that’s something I don’t always remember.

Throughout my life, I’ve written many words. The topics have a nice range or course. From articles about Disneyland and student life in my high school newspaper, to pieces on the history of my favorite bands, review of books and movies, and some pretty intense pieces about the annual dolphin slaughter that takes place in Taiji, Japan. The things I’m passionate about are always the things I enjoy writing.

But, as writers, there are times when we don’t always get to pick our topics. Whether we’re assigned a topic for a school project, reaching outside the walls of our comfort zones for personal growth, or for me personally, part of my day job includes reviewing phone calls and providing feedback to Customer Service Representatives. It seems that I am always writing. I just have to remember to take the time to write about the things that interest me. That’s where the passion for writing lives.

I’ve attempted many stories in my lifetime. Most have been abandoned, but I do enjoy adding to them from time to time. I save everything. Sometimes we have to take a step back and realize writing about things we don’t know can sometimes prove to be difficult. This, of course, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t write them. It’s just important we take a step back and write about things we know.

This really comes into play for me when I’m working on my personal projects. It’s always been a dream of mine to have my stories published. I enjoy reading fantasy novels, so that’s what I tend to try to write. But the writer’s block is real.

“Does this sound stupid?”

“I’ve used this word 50 times already! What can I use instead?”

I’m my own worst critic. So, I’ve taken a break from my fairytale mashups and supernatural adventures to write something a little different.

The story I’m writing now hits close to home, because essentially, I’m writing about the possibilities in a universe I already inhabit. There will still be stretches of the imagination, but for the most part, the laws of science and physics will remain the same. Maybe this is what I need to get my imagination going again. Adulthood really does kill creative juices, but something must be done.

One tool I’m finding that’s really helping is this The Imaginary World Of. 

TheImaginaryWorldOf.jpg

This book really helps the creative juices flow. There are pages and pages of prompts and questions and activities. I’m using this to write small excerpts of my story, and in the end they’ll all be tied together to create a story. Sometimes, it’s easier to do things in little chunks and connect them to create something bigger.

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