It always amazes me that some people actually enjoy classic literature. Even in high school I rarely read a book that was assigned, though I’ve considered myself an avid reader since age 4. Back at Christmas time Danielle mentioned that she reads classic literature for each holiday, Dickens for Christmas. I remember being blown away like, wow, she’s a real reader. Then what am I? As I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the second time and regularly enjoy Young Adult novels, chick lit, and anything at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. Somehow even though I understand the importance of those classics, I probably won’t be mad at my children if they spark notes every damn one. Unless at some point my parenting strategy includes “do as I say, not as I do”. I want to love the classics. I admire those who genuinely do. I just don’t.
My thoughts on being a writer are similarly jumbled. I don’t put pen to paper. I don’t dream up characters, plot lines, or themes. Most mornings I drink coffee, turn on a tv show I’m way too old to be watching (today it’s Vampire Diaries), and sit criss-cross applesauce with my computer in my lap. Didn’t you know calling it Indian style isn’t PC anymore? Oops. I open one of my now 94 blog post drafts. I pick at it for a while. Is it working for me today? Do I have new ideas to contribute? Do I have anything to say? Some days, like today, I start fresh. The curser blinks at me wildly and it usually takes me an hour or two, starting and stopping many times, to find something I think may be worth posting. The creative process isn’t easy for me. My brain works in fragments and I rarely write one post all in one sitting.
It took me a long time to start to sound like myself in writing. To unlearn everything I’d learned in school. Most of my writing up until I started blogging was in essay form, written days (or hours) before it was due, hastily and about topics I just didn’t care about. In blogging, that type of writing just doesn’t translate. Sure, some people pull it off by being the deep, thought provoking blogger. But I’m not that. My early blog posts don’t sound like how I’d speak in real life. The writing is too formal, and frankly it’s not much fun to read.
|2nd Grade Nadine wanted to be a writer. Is she one today?|
One thing that really helped me is actually talking my posts out. I use the Dragon Dictation app on my iPhone (usually while driving) and just talk. Even though you have to say out loud “period” to end each sentence, the way you talk sounds a lot more natural and it’s easier to stop yourself from defaulting back to academic speak. I still do sometimes and mark my words, those posts are always less popular than the ones where I’m more off the cuff, more “me” sounding. Because blogging isn’t about proper grammar, perfect punctuation, and sounding wildly intelligent all the time. The cheesiest thing of all? Maybe it’s just about being yourself and relating to other people.
So if I’m just writing on this little blog, do I count as a writer? Fellow bloggers, do you feel like a writer?