It’s always encouraging to hear from other writers. Back when I first started writing, I dived in head-first with little knowledge of story structure, character development, or even what the word “plot” or “novel” meant. That first year, especially, I spent reading everything I could on the subject. And though I’m sure I’ve forgotten most of what I learned then, I do remember the feeling of my world expanding exponentially, and the sure realization that I’d never look at anyone or anything the same way again.
There was a moment soon after I started writing for fun in longer form when I remember seeing a teenage girl being comforted—multiple times over a weekend—by an older friend of ours. Later, when I asked my parents about it, I explained that I wanted to know why she was doing that “because I might use it in my writing one day.” It turned out she had recently lost her brother, quite unexpectedly, and my heart went out to her.
But I knew then, even more than I had earlier, that life would never quite look the same again. I was a writer—was seeing life from the perspective of a writer—and that became a constant in my life.
Still, it’s good to hear from other people who are writers. They bring balance to my life.
I had forgotten how much I was missing out on until I got a chance to watch some encouragement from the last “season” of Indie Novelist Summit—which, in retrospect, I wish I had written about earlier, because wow. Some of that content is gold. I wish I could have shared it with you while it was still live! I’ve only watched one episode so far—one with Joanna Penn about writing mindset—but it’s set me down and shown me just how much I have yet to learn about the writing craft.
I love to write, love developing new characters under my fingers and watching them spring to life in gorgeous colors in my head.
However, I remember one time when I was probably six or seven, sitting at our grey, weathered picnic table under one of the biggest maple trees I’ve ever seen, a major feature in many childhood memories. I had a clean sheet of paper before me, a case of watercolor paints, and a beautiful picture in mind to paint. When I looked at my results a few minutes later, I remember feeling intense disappointment—though I had a picture in my head, I couldn’t translate it to the page.
Often, my writing feels that way too—a beauty of an idea, a meaningful thought, but poorly translated when it comes to writing.
Hearing from other creative writers refuels my tank, gives me the inspiration to keep going.
There was a phrase from Joanna Penn’s episode that has stuck with me:
“Stand on the shoulders of giants—know what has come before, so you can create something new.”
That’s what I’d like to do. I know that while my writing might not be great now, if I keep working at it, it’ll get better.
And that is why I’m thankful to still be able to write. And have the chance to learn from others who are also still learning—though obviously at a much more advanced level than me!
Who are you learning from right now? What are you learning?