I’ve been writing for about twenty years on and off, and before that I wrote a little for pleasure in high school and college when I wasn’t writing papers for classes. I’ve written some long stories, like my new historical romance Charming the Duke, a few essays, and an occasional family story or recollection. I have found writing to be a very rewarding undertaking.
I’ve talked to lots of writers over the years, some who wrote lengthy pieces and were trying to get published, and many, many more that wrote memoirs or short stories, and universally all have said how satisfying writing can be. There are days, quite a few sometimes, when I want to break my laptop into a million pieces when I’m in the middle of writing a novel and I just can’t see what the next scene is, or if I’ve been away from writing for a month or so, and have trouble getting back in the mood of the book. It is a uniquely irritating dilemma when the words just won’t come. But when I’m writing short pieces, two or three pages, or when I’m really in my groove writing a novel and things are really working, that mojo is an unbeatable feeling.
We don’t write lengthy letters or keep diaries or journals so much anymore mostly I think because of the internet. But does a blog piece get to the real emotions that a diary entry would or recount a family meal or holiday as letter to a relative could? I don’t think so. Writing can be very personal. The intent of a blog is for the entire world to see what you’ve written, making us second guess our feelings and reactions, and filter them for public consumption. Writing freely and privately can be good for us. Sometimes anger and hurt and misery can lessen as we describe whatever agony we’re in. Writing forces us to organize our thoughts as well.
If writing isn’t something you do often, or at all, take a chance on it. Write about how you feel when your daughter gets on the school bus for the very first time. Describe Christmas dinner including whatever terrible vegetable Aunt Mildred brought, or if Cousin Filbert had a little too much wine. Record a particularly wonderful day spent with your husband or wife or a friend. Write down what you were thinking as you stood at a graveside. Maybe a paragraph is all there is to write, or maybe ten pages aren’t enough. It doesn’t matter if the grammar’s correct or if everything is spelled perfectly. You’ll know what you meant. Print out what you wrote and stick it in a file. What a treat it will be to find in a month or a year. Take a chance and write.
Do you keep a diary? Have you recorded a family event?