In college, I hated writing. I'ld a rather poke out my eye than write. I avoided classes where writing might be involved, and even ended my dreams of becoming a teacher because of one prerequisite class - extemporary writing.
Then during one soul searching session I told myself I was an ass. If one lousy class on writing would cause me to give up my dreams, then I was a wimp. A Bozo. And a weak one, at that.
That did it. (There is nothing like being flexible enough for a swift kick in the ass)
So I took the class. And I learned to write.
I still remember the book - "Writing Without Teachers". I learned to simply write, and to write simply. Stop sweating finding the big words, and the fancy syntax. Just write. And to not pick my pen up from the paper. If I don't know the next word, write filler. And don't worry about the perfect beginning. Write from the belief that I will throw out what I first write, and will only keep my fifth draft anyway. Relax, and JUST WRITE.
That became my favorite college class.
Fast forward a few years. I am working for an ad agency as a photo stylist and rep. After they lose a few grand because of a typo on a printed piece, I become the proofreader. "Eagle Eye", they call me. Funny, because I am a krappy speler. As I proof the contracted copywriters work that comes across my desk, I can't help but cross out and insert my ideas for better phrases.
Next thing you know, I am the new copywriter. HA! ME! The one who hated writing. And they are frikken PAYING me for this craft! I remained a copywriter, and even won some awards, until my daughter Roxy was born. I freelanced some while she was an infant. I still remember interviewing a fellow for a piece I was writing. Roxy was weeks old. He agreed to come to my house for the interview..."Oh, I have a baby at home, too. It will be fine," he said. As I interviewed Steve for the piece, I tapped Roxy's swing with my toe to keep her quiet. Real professional, but it worked.
Fast forward, again, to 2009. I am a Realtor. I discover blogging. You write, and other people read it. And comment, maybe. So I bang out a post about my childhood home. A few people comment. I write another. More comments. And I keep it up. 243 posts later I have blogged about home prices, real estate stuff, favorite neighborhoods, favorite vacations, thoughts on life and how I have learned things. I have written about liking my mom, and why I love my hubby. About my Dad. And my favorite Aunt. And about my sweet brother Joe, who died at 46. My Joe post received 87 comments - it struck a nerve.
I find that when I am bummed out, I go back and read my favorite writings. They help me remember who I am. How I have felt. That I am funny. And poignant. And that I love life. And am positive.
I now know that I have become a writer. I don't make money at it, and I am totally infrequent. I still misspell. But I will never forget who I am, because my printed word is my proof.