On Writing (originally drafted 2010)

Original draft

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. I dreamed of someday being published and having people read what I’d written.  In 2000 or so one of my grad school professors asked me if I’d help him with part of a book he was writing for AOL. I was in charge of an annotated appendix about various software and websites on photography and found the writing and research part easy, but the formatting part impossible. The professor ended up doing the formatting and also, I discovered when I got my copy of the book, pretty much changed every annotation I wrote — using words I’d never uttered in my life (maven was one of them). That experience sort of squashed my desire to be published. It seemed like a lot more work than I was willing to do.  My words would, no doubt, be changed anyway. Oh, and I hate rejection.

As you may know, I kept a journal (actually many journals) for several years. The trouble with journals was: no one read them but me, so all the creative energy I put into writing entries was sort of wasted. I remembered when my 10th grade English teacher read my journals and commented on things I wrote — it sort of validated something in me — that I had a voice.

Then I discovered blogging. I remember searching for journaling software — I wanted to type my journals instead of write them long-hand — and stumbled upon Blogger. I thought it was a perfect compromise — I could keep a journal and maybe someone would read it someday. Just like when Miss Sliger read my 10th grade journal. That was all I really wanted anyway — to write and have someone read what I wrote.

It was frustrating at first. I’d write but didn’t know if anyone was reading. The first year I had the blog not one person commented and there were no analytics attached to the software for me to see if anyone even visited. I persevered though, and did actually get published that year in an online version of a magazine.

Addendum

I am not sure where I was going with this or why I wrote it. Maybe just to say that blogging is my way of writing and even if no one reads it, it really is all about getting it out there.

Since writing this I was also published (twice) in a newspaper supplement about my time spent in Chetek, Wisconsin. They posted some blog posts of mine with my permission.

I feel that my writing is suffering from either my old age or my lack of practice. I read things I wrote years ago (like these drafts that I am going through today) and am surprised at how much better my writing was then.

Dean suggested that when I retire I should take a class at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. That would be cool.

1 thought on “On Writing (originally drafted 2010)

  1. “The trouble with journals was: no one read them but me, so all the creative energy I put into writing entries was sort of wasted.” I have had this conversation with a friend who hopes to publish YA novels—I can’t agree that any creative energy is wasted. I feel like if someone likes writing, write for its own sake. Maybe others will read it; maybe not. But wasted? Never.

    Like

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