Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z challenge: U is for U-turn

by: Michala T. 

Have you gotten your lines crossed in your personal life on that golden road to the published book? Have you lost a bit of that burning passion with which you originally began this road?

When I began writing I wasn’t doing it to show everybody the miraculous, brilliant piece I’d created. I was writing because it was therapy for me. It was my voice, being recorded forever, and I knew that I could grow up and turn back to those recordings and peruse through them and remember how hard or easy I had it, what events caused me to cry and how I pulled myself up, and well, it was for ME. Not for anybody else.

When I reached seventh grade I wrote a short story for English and won an award for it. I was congratulated for it before a few thousand people. I went home and was amazed that people really cared about what I wrote. (It was a story about AIDS back in the early 90’s when it was still misunderstood by most). I would write a novella within the next three years about a young woman in a terrible relationship.

It was at this stage I began showing my work and wanting…anticipating the responses of others. I was 15 and was now writing, not for others so much but I thrived on having readers.

Today I constantly struggle as a professional writer. I struggle with that burning desire to have READERS and writing for myself. I want both.

When you write to have money, have readers, have stardom, have that published book in your hands with your wonderful name across it you have to be careful not to cross your lines.

Those lines, I mean, such as harnessing the skills, abilities, and passions that are a part of you. Can you live without writing? I know I can’t. Can you live without making money for your writing? I had to remind myself that money does not make a good story. Millions of dollars have been spent on particularly dreadful novels. I’m sure you could easy name a few. Can you live your life without having readers? Do the stories inside you become less important, less burning, if nobody reads them?

I sometimes have to force myself to take a U-turn. I have to remind myself that my creativity is a part of me no matter what number on Amazon’s list I am, no matter what amount of readers and dollars I’ve accumulated.

I’m not saying those aren’t important. They are. They just aren’t monumental to you writing an awesome story.  They are the by-products of having written the story. They will sometimes come in large quantities and sometimes come in peanut sized, awful amounts. That doesn’t mean you should give up if you aren’t receiving what you’d hoped to attain.

Make small goals. Work towards them. But when you find yourself floundering, getting off the path, or crossing your lines…make that much needed U-turn and get back to the heart of the matter. Your writing is for you. It’s your sweet release. It’s your passion. Don’t let something like dollars, reviews, or readers negate what you were created with…which is creativity like no other. Only you can do what you do. J

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