Making Writing Happen

writer's life
At the beginning of this National Novel Writing Month, an endeavor I have sworn to myself to take part in but have yet to actually do, I feel like it is an appropriate time to talk about my writer’s block and what I feel has kept me from being a truly great blogger.

Growing up, I always dreamed of being a writer. On one draft of my “bucket list”, I wrote both “have an article published in the New York Times” and “publish a book.” I remember feeling like these goals were completely attainable because I simply could not imagine my life without writing.

Well then college happened. I didn’t want to be an English major because being forced to read and analyze books sucked all the fun out of them. So I became an art history major which meant reading more articles about art than I liked and less time for actually appreciating the art. I feel that college was probably the biggest contributor for moving me away from writing. I didn’t spend as much time on my own, thinking, weaving words into stories in the privacy of my own room as I had done from elementary school through high school. Instead I was being social, which was great, but without practice my writing stopped being what it was. It lacked heart and soul because I was spending my time in other areas.

Fast forward to starting a blog. I started blogging because I liked to write. I wanted to write, I wanted to share my thoughts with the great wide internet. It’s a great thought except that every time I go to write now, I feel all blocked up. It’s not that I don’t want to blog; I feel like I can’t. And what’s worse is that when I do write, I feel like it’s this husk of me and my thoughts. I re-read what I type up and it sounds so shallow. It’s like the most painful kind of writer’s block and I feel like I’ve been dealing with it for awhile now which you can see plainly in my lengthy absences and boring “here’s my weekend” posts.

I always teach my students that to really write you have to put a lot of yourself in there. I am trying to be my own writing teacher and actually get down to the business of being “real” in my writing. One of my goals is to blog as much as possible and to make sure I’m writing when the inspiration strikes. I also want to be writing even there isn’t any inspiration just because it is that important to practice writing every day (I totally sound like a writing teacher right?).

Another goal is to find a focus here on my blog. That’s something I struggle with; I like to do and write about everything! But knowing myself, if I have a focus on something, or even a few things, I’ll be more successful then when I know what I’m going to write about.

And last but not least, I have a goal to complete more fiction writing. I would love to some day participate in NaNoWriMo but there’s no way that challenge would be possible for me right now. I do want to be a writer, not just to tell my students I can or to say “I’m a writer”, but to actually keep up something that makes me feel good. Think of it like a workout for my mind (since I’m not doing much in the way of a workout for my body…). I’m feeling better about being an actual writer already.
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