Writing, To Me…
Writing is something that brings me completion in many different ways. Through my poetry, I am able to express feelings that I might have difficulty conveying through speech. As an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, writing is a therapeutic form of expression for me. It truly helps me cope with life.
Over the years, I have written many poems. My poetry has dealt with many subjects. I have written poems for my wife, declaring my love and how she makes me feel. I have written small holiday card type poems. I have written poems that express my fears and anxieties, as well as poems that talk about anger over a perceived injustice. I also wrote poems in prison which touched on my feelings of isolation and regret. Though I have a large number of poems written, I’ve only publicly shared a few.
I recently started writing fiction.I took a creative writing class which required a short story as a long term assignment. I am also participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which takes place for the entire month of November each year.. So far, I have written several chapter in my first novel for this event. NaNoWriMo is geared to help writers get the first draft written by saving editing for the second draft.
There are a couple of questions that most of us face. Let’s talk about two of the hardest to deal with for many: What to write about, Do I share it with Others, and What if no one likes my stuff.
What do I write about?
This question is the first many people ask themselves when they begin writing. Writing is difficult , especially if your not sure what to write at all. Sometimes finding the right words can be difficult, much less finding a topic or sharing your baby with the world.
You can spend years trying to brain storm the perfect topic or you can pick the topic you feel the most excited to write. You could also try writing prompts, which can be found in eBooks, on blogs, and even on social media. Don’t stress so much over what to write about. Just do your best, whatever your chosen subject.
What do I recommend? It’s simple. If you want to write, then write about whatever feels good to you. It doesn’t have to make sense or fit in with any particular type of form. Just do what you feel.
But what if no one likes my writing?
There is always the chance that something you write will be criticized. It sucks when that happens. It’s even harder to hear that someone just doesn’t like your work. But that means your doing something right. However, if everyone likes everything you’ve written, then something is wrong. Not everyone likes Stephen King or JK Rowling or even Tolkien. They are acknowledged by most as good writers, but their stories appeal to specific groups of people.
Some people have a fear of rejection and this can affect what they write, if they even write at all. Many allow this fear to stop them from sharing their work with others. But what if Stephen King had given up after his first few rejections from publishers?? If you read his book “On Writing,” he tells of the nail (which then became a spike driven into the wall) where he hung each rejection. If he’d let them deter him from sharing with the world, we’d have lost some iconic horror stories.
Although some of my writing has drawn critical feedback, most things I’ve written are well received. The thing is, if I am writing for myself first and foremost, it shouldn’t matter what anyone’s opinion is. The truth is that nobody can know what is behind your work. People will interpret things in different ways based on how they feel about what you have written.
My recommendation? I’d encourage you to take that first, frightening step and share your work once it’s been edited at least one time through. You can share with your spouse or a friend who likes the type of work you have in hand. Take small steps before sharing with large audiences, if that’s more your style. Just keep writing and keep sharing.
Yes, writing can be difficult. It can also be rewarding in many ways. From simply getting the words on paper to the first positive comments when you share, to coping with things that have happened in your own life– writing is so many things to so many people.
I would like to see you all begin your own projects and write something. Write whatever you have inside of you. The point is to just get in the habit of writing, even if you are your own audience. If you’re ready, I’d love to see some of your writing either in the comments or by email.
Let’s get writing!