Why Do You Write What You Write?

1914637_610114758315_1926909_n

I completed a twelve week writing course recently to help me clean up my manuscript’s plot and what-not.  The last session was on living a writer’s life: basically setting up a routine, making time to improve your craft, journaling, etc. Our assignment was to tell why we are writing the story we are and what makes us qualified to do so…Easy, right?  Wrong.

My major professional flaw is an inability–or at least a strong resistance–to claim to be, or think I am, innately qualified to do anything.  So I get the same gut twisting sensations saying I am qualified to write a particular novel–better yet to write at all–that I did when I first stepped into the rickety airplane I planned to throw myself out of a few moments later.  I had a parachute to soften my landing and I’d taken the required class, but was I really qualified to jump out of that airplane?  Probably not.  But I did it anyway, and although fear told me I shouldn’t complete this assignment I did it anyway.

No one will ever believe you are qualified to do something if you don’t believe it yourself.  

What I submitted to the instructor:

I hate to start with the cliché I had a dream, but I will anyway because that’s really how this book began—unless you count my Happy Potter induced childhood love affair with all things paranormal.

I’ve always loved writing.  It was my outlet during my parents’ divorce and subsequent custody battle.  It was a way to rationalize through difficult decisions.  It was how I persuaded my mom to buy me my first cell phone, my first computer, my first car, and my first trip overseas.  It helped me earn my 4.0 GPA in college.  It’s how I worked through questions of faith, a form of prayer and meditation.  Writing has always been a part of my life in some form or fashion, just not always with the intent of sharing with others.

My thoughts about writing began to change once I had a child.  I had always been afraid what people would think if they knew I wrote, what they would say.  I tell my son daily to pray, be himself, and always be brave.  It didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t practicing what I preached.

The first book I started made it six chapters before I lost motivation; I let someone’s comments influence me.  I stopped writing for a while, but then I had this vivid dream about a girl watching her home engulfed in flames and no one could stop it but her.  Her tears were my tears and her pain was my pain.  Figuratively speaking, I had been that girl once upon a time.  I woke up and started writing what I remembered, and the story progressed from there.

A common theme in everything I write, every song I choose when choreographing for my dance students, and every piece of advice I give to my son: accept who you are and what gifts God gave you.  You have to love the person God made you to be and be brave, especially when you don’t want to be.  Fear overwhelms us, it paralyzes us, and sometimes we need some external force to push up toward facing and overcoming those fears.

I think that’s what makes me uniquely qualified to write this story.  I have been this character—minus the awesome paranormal abilities—feeling friendless, struggling with family secrets, and not fitting in.  I learned that most of that isolation was created from within myself.  I had to overcome me.  I love these characters, cried when they cried, laughed when they laughed, and my bravery grew just as theirs did.  Acceptance is something we all crave as humans and something we all fear won’t be given.  We spend so much time worrying about what others will think of us; we base our worth on their opinions.  This book is about realizing it’s okay to be odd, different, and unique.  It’s those things that make us special.  You should embrace that thing about yourself that makes you different, because it is what makes you you.

Advertisements

Author…of the aspiring & dreaming sort.

LcLara is a dreamer and a lover of learning.

She has a degree in psychology, is a wife and mother, and still can’t decide what she wants to be when she grows up.  She has been a dance instructor, special education teacher, and preschool teacher…among other things.

She nerds out over a new box of tea, a new ball of yarn, organizational supplies, and vocabulary words.  (Written language+Tea=Happy place)

A few of her bad habits include procrastination, eating ice cream out of the carton, and staying up 24 hours straight to finish a book in one sitting.  (It’s an addiction, a serious problem when sharing a bedroom with someone.  Seriously.)

She aspires to be a world traveler, hike all of the US National Parks, and one day become fluent in a second language.

She loves her savior Jesus, her enabling hubby, her I-can-do-everything-by-myself toddler, and her selectively deaf puppy dog.

When she reads, she has a weakness for magical and mythological creatures, love triangles, soul mates, and fantastical worlds, but will read just about anything with dynamic character relationships and dialogue.  She loves watching relationships change and grow.

When she writes, she tries to paint a vivid picture of her characters and the world they find themselves in.  She loves writing about those moments when a character realizes they are more than what they let themselves believe, those coming-into-oneself stories, and those times when a character learns to overcome the pain of the past to become something more.

Oh, and she’s looking for writer friends!  Where do you go to find aspiring writer friends when you don’t personally know any writers???