Throughout my life I have always been told how to write.
Throughout elementary I always had a teacher telling me the wrong way to write. Writing was, to me, frustrating, boring, and pointless.
Jump forward to Jr. High & High School.
It was in these years that i started getting my own voice. I was told to write essays and book reports but to use my own words to describe everything.
Although I was given some freedom it still wasn’t enough to motivate me to write on my own. I still saw writing as frustrating, boring, and pointless.
When I took a stab at college I was forced to take an English class.
My first thought was “oh no, here we go again.” Although I wasn't being told that my writing was bad I still felt restricted. I felt like I still wasn't able to really be myself, to use my own voice.
It wasn't until my second college English class that I found my voice.
My English teacher gave us an assignment and when I turned it in she gave it back with a big red “f”. I was surprised. I asked if I perhaps misunderstood the assignment and her answer threw me for a loop.
“You understood it correctly,” she said. “But I don’t hear your voice in the paper.”
“I don't get it.” I said with a bewildered look.
“This next assignment I want you to write it like you are talking to your friends. If you cuss when you are with them, then cuss on the paper. I won't dock points for being yourself.”
I took her advice and found my voice.
Now when I write, I do it as if I am talking to my friends. And that is the greatest writing lesson I have ever learned.
“So if you want to be a writer I am passing on this lesson to you….when you write just be yourself. Don't try to be someone you aren't.
If you are genuine then you will be successful.”
Don’t change your writing to please anyone, just write for yourself. If at the end of the day you are not happy with your words then don't expect anyone else to be either.
A lot of people will tell you what they think you should write about, and how the story should go, but you don’t have to listen to them.
“Just remember that it is YOUR story.”
You decide what genre it is going to fit in, and you decide what is going to happen.
Not everyone is going to like it, and that is ok.
Writing is not about telling a story that other people want to hear, but about telling the story that is inside you. It is about you finding your voice and putting yourself out there.
There are a million stories out there, but just remember that when you sit in front of your computer ready to put your thoughts to paper, the most important one is the story that you have inside dying to tell the world.
Above all else remember this old saying:
“You can please some people all of the time, and you can please all people some of the time, but you can never please all people all of the time.”
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Wow! This is enlightening…thanks for sharing.
Loved this story… I have always lived to read, writing I had never thought about up until recently. Although I’ve always been told I’m very articulate which I am hopeful translate into the page…