The Write Practice

The Online Writing Workbook

To Be a Writer, You Only Need to Do Two Things

Why did you first have the idea to become a writer? I could be wrong, but it was probably because you read a book that touched you so deeply, that pierced you to your core, that you thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to inspire this feeling in others?”

Writer Dream

Photo by Muffet

In other words, you first dreamed of becoming a writer not to get famous, not to become a New York Times bestseller, not so you could tell people at parties, “I’m an author. Aren’t I amazing?”

No, you first dreamed of becoming a writer to create a deep connection. You wanted another person to know how you felt. You wanted to change someone’s life.

5 Lies Distracting You From Your Purpose

But as you thought more about becoming a writer, and as you talked about your dream with others, doubts arose:

  1. Skepticism: How are you going to make a living at writing?
  2. Vanity: What if writing could make you famous?
  3. Pride: I’m a much better writer than Stephenie Meyer? 
  4. Fear: But what if I’m rejected?
  5. Doubt: No one is going to read my writing anyway. What’s the point.

Slowly, that original desire became distorted until you actually believe your main goal was just to be a bestselling author, when in reality, you wanted so much more. You wanted to change the world.

Two Things You Need to Do to Connect

It’s time to rediscover your dream. Now is the time to remember that you really just want to know and to be known.

And to do that, you don’t need a publisher or a blog with thousands of visitors or even a book. You only need two things:

1. Write your story.

2. Share your story with the world.

Make More Art

I asked Seth Godin what the single most important thing you can do to become a successful writer.

Seth said, write another story. “And the second most important thing is to share it.”

That’s it. You don’t need a plan. You don’t need to know anything about marketing. You just need to write a good story (not a perfect one) and share it.

In a few weeks, we will be launching the Story Cartel Community, a course to help you share your story with the world and create the deep connections that you dreamed about when you first wanted to become a writer.

If the Story Cartel Community sounds interesting to you, you can get on the waiting list here. Space in the course will be limited, so make sure you’re the first to know.

When did you first want to become a writer?

PRACTICE

Think about the moment you first wanted to be a writer. For me, I was in my room reading a book by Charles Dickens ( A Tale of Two Cities, I believe).

Then, free write, letting that pure energy pervade your writing.

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section.

Have fun!

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

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  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Yep. Amen.

  • Sandra Hould

    I do
    remember the first time I first thought of how cool it would be to be a writer.
    It was when I was a teenager. I used to watch the series “Murder, She wrote”
    and seeing how Jessica Fletcher would make her stories come to life really
    inspired me. But back then, I was too afraid to write, thinking how inadequate
    I was and how poor my writing was. It was also a medium that frighten me. I am
    much better at drawing than at writing. To me writing was basically a foreign
    language, even in my native French Canadian tongue. I did try to write a story, but not knowing
    one bit about how a book or even a story was created, so I soon flushed that
    story and tried to forget all about my dream of becoming a writer. I never
    wanted to do it for the fame, far from it. I wanted to become a writer to share
    stories and have fun creating. But I was too insecure about my own abilities to
    even try again.

    That is
    until I soon started to watch another police series entitled “Castle” where a
    writer teams up with the NYPD to solve crimes while writing awesome books at
    the same time. Once again, I was thrown back into that dream of mine. But
    having worked hard on my language abilities in French and being more and more
    fluent in English, I decided that it would not hurt to jump the empty gap in
    front of me like I have done so many times in my life. This time, this gap was
    even bigger than all the ones I had jumped in the past. But this time, I was ready
    for a good challenge.

    So I jumped
    and started to study how to write, how to become a writer and started writing
    stories again. And I must say that I am absolutely not regretting it because
    now, being more mature and better equipped to tackle this challenge, I am now
    ready to face this dream and jump into it feet first and with a smile on my
    face. I am now more than happy to try to be not only a good story writer, but
    also a good proofreader. Because one
    cannot go without the other for me. Now, I am living my dream and I am loving
    every bit of it.

    And I now
    say to others to never be afraid to try out different things even if they are
    not sure of themselves, because we never know how much fun life can truly be
    when we try to do what we seem to be impossible. Impossible doesn’t exist,
    everything is possible and everything is great.

    • Steve Stretton

      As I have said before, things usually don’t come easily, but if something’s worth doing, keep at it. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Jeff Ellis

    Henry was afraid of the dark. It was common among children his age, but Henry’s fears were more elaborate than others’. Henry’s fears were born from an understanding he had come to at far too young an age. He understood something very simple about the world that other children did not know; that perhaps no child should. He understood Death and he understood its inevitability.

    By no means was he a melancholy child. He laughed and he played and he had many friends, all of whom he cherished. What set Henry apart, and what made the darkness so scary, was that Henry saw Death as one might see an acquaintance. Just the same as any imaginary friend, Henry saw Death when his mother would turn out his lights and he saw Death when he and his brother would stay up late, camping in the yard. He saw Death in his dreams and first thing when he woke up. And most often he saw Death chasing him back to the house after had taken the trash out, suddenly fangs and fervor.

    It was when Henry was fourteen and still seeing Death and still too scared to sleep without a nightlight, that Henry came upon the most wonderful of stories. It was a story about a boy, much like Henry, who conquered his fears through understanding. The boy in the story did not fight Fear, nor did someone else come to save him. The boy was able to defeat Fear because he understood that Fear was part of life and that while others did not see Fear, that did not mean that it was any more or less real. The boy understood that Fear was in his mind, and that even though he could not fight Fear as he might fight a schoolyard bully, he could fight Fear with his imagination.

    Much like the boy’s fears, Henry saw that Death was in his mind and that he could not strong-arm such an apparition. Henry created for himself a guardian – a black dog that looked much like Death did when it chased Henry in the dark. Whenever Henry took the trash out at night, or lay in his bed with the lights off and Death would inevitably come to taunt him, Henry imagined his guardian there defending him. When Death poked and prodded at Henry, the guardian was there to chase it off. When Death stood at Henry’s window, looking in at him, the guardian lay on Henry’s bed, growling until the specter floated away. And so it was that Death stopped hounding Henry and a new specter was born. The guardian; who watched over Henry in the night.

    It was because of the story of the boy and his imaginary fears that Henry was able to bring the same peace of mind he felt at school, surrounded by friends and the light of day, into his night life, which he had so often avoided. It was because of the story of the boy that Henry began to think there might be others like him out there in the world. Had it not been for that story and the boy’s fascinating trick, Henry may never have aspired to become an author himself.

  • Steve Stretton

    I don’t remember when I first started to write, I do remember the scraps of paper lying around. It was a frustrating way to write, having to scratch out the errors and rewrite everything. Then I got my first computer. I couldn’t do much with it, everything had to be programmed in Basic. Then I saw an ad for a computer that had folders and notepads and looked like the desk top I was familiar with at work. It was an Apple Lisa, one of the first such machines. It was an Aha! moment. Eventually I got one and have been happily writing since. I like being able to write and correct my work as I go. I like pecking away at the keyboard. I like being able to see a clean typewritten sheet, not a mass of scribble and strikethroughs. I was always criticized for my handwriting at school and it is still a relief to see clean, crisp words forming in front of me. As for why I write, I have always had ideas, and have long wanted to express them. So I now have a collection of stories I’m not sure what to do with. That and one novel completed and one in progress. The writing process itself does not come easily, but I still feel compelled to write.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Ideas wanting to be expressed. Sounds like a desire for connection to me. This was great, Steve. Thanks.

      • Steve Stretton

        Thanks Joe, as an a-social person (neither social nor antisocial) I find connection does not come easily. This site has been a great outlet. Thanks again.

        • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

          I hear you, Steve. The miracle of social media is that it lets shy people like us connect. I’m pretty grateful for this outlet too. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/alex.vogel.374 Alex Vogel

          A-social? Is that what I am? :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.vogel.374 Alex Vogel

      I can definitely relate to the scraps of paper lying around, but even with a home computer, I am still having this problem. :) And yes, I remember having to write essays two and three and four times over for messy handwriting. Missed more than one recess for that–having to go back and rewrite handwritten work.

  • Hope Mendola

    My sisters were born 18 months apart, I came a few years later. In our younger years my mother dressed us in the same clothes – people thought we were triplets (despite the fact that I was half their height.) We took dance classes together, we delivered the neighborhood newspaper together.

    Whatever they did, I wanted to do too.

    My sisters loved to read. And write. They would make up their own characters, their own worlds. I remember sitting in our basement, staring at our computer (which, at the time, was the size of a small space ship) as I read the stories they created. I was captivated, I couldn’t stop scrolling from one page to the next. I never wanted it to end. I would laugh out loud. Even now, as I recall this memory, I can feel laughter rising up in me from whatever it was they wrote.

    They wrote, so I wrote.

    And I haven’t been able to stop ever since.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      One thing you do really well is seamlessly weave details into your stories: people thinking you were triplets, dance classes, small-space-ship-sized computer, laughter. I like it. You write vividly without taking anything too seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/HorseListening Horse Listening

    She wrote from the day she knew how.

    The words just flowed – not because they were forced to, but simply because they were there and needed to be written. She wrote about everything and anything. Long and detailed, she documented her days at school and the many complicated relationships she tumbled through with her peers. Year in and year out, she dumped her dreams, fears, frustrations and celebrations into notebooks.

    There were many of them – the thick-paged ones that ran out too quickly despite appearing to have more space than they really did. There were the thin-enough-to-rip dollar store note pads that resented the scrapings of an eraser. Even where there were no notebooks to be seen, there were the loose sheets that always presented the challenge of finding them after they got lost in one of the piles. It didn’t really matter what the page looked like. She looked at every blank, unspoiled page with the same excitement that another child might see a water park.

    She played with the words. She fumbled with phrases, stumbled through sounds and rolled with the rhythms. She practiced without ever knowing that it was a practice.

    Reading had its place too. Books were more than simple escape from the mundane. They were more than the incredible character sketches that kept her pining for more at the end of the novel. Books represented the word master’s playground, the roller coaster ride of sentences long/short/combined/split to bring pictures to the mind and feelings to the heart. Books were where she learned how to be.

    Decades later, she is still writing. This time, it is by electronic means and through a computer. Eventually, and mostly thanks to Seth Godin’s “shipping” inspiration, the writing has morphed into a blog.

    But the words continued to come from the same place.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Nice. I like how you tell this in third person tense (I’m assuming it’s about you). I’m biased, but I really liked this part: “She played with the words. She fumbled with phrases, stumbled through sounds and rolled with the rhythms. She practiced without ever knowing that it was a practice.” :)

      • http://twitter.com/HorseListening Horse Listening

        Thanks. Yes, “she” is me!

    • eva rose

      I love this! That “blank,unspoiled page” beckons most writers. Also playing with the words, phrases, sounds. I think you speak my language!

      • http://twitter.com/HorseListening Horse Listening

        Thansk, eva. :)

  • Mer

    Thinking back to when I knew I wanted to write, I realize that toys didn’t play much of a role in my childhood. Sure, I did *have* them……a Tiny Tears Doll that “took” water from a bottle and wee’d it out of a small opening……a beloved Teddy named Honey (who I slept with till sixth grade.) When I was in third grade, my mom bought me a Barbie doll and a pink and black plastic case Barbie and her wardrobe lived in.

    The REAL star of my possessions was always the books.. My earliest bit of memory is a view through the slates of what? My crib? My playpen? I’m laying there watching my mom (I think she must have making her bed) and clutched against my chest is a tiny book. I’m told that book went with me everywhere. It was about a train.

    Eventually, I had a little stack of Golden Books that HAD to go with me everywhere too. (Do they still publish Golden Books? I hope so.) I still have a few of those
    original books from my infancy….they are beyond tattered and very fragile and
    extremely precious to me. Several of them of them have the price in the corner
    of the cover: 5 cents. Mom said that I would get distressed even one was left
    behind—so she was constantly having to make sure that anytime we left the
    house, she had all of them with us. What a little pain in the neck I must have
    been! All my life, my parents and grandparents loved to talk about it—to recall
    absurd stories of a toddler’s passion for books……yet I know that what they
    recall has to be true: my earliest memories verify those stories.

    By the age of three, I was reading. Truly reading. Skeptical friends and relatives
    were treated to my parents favorite “parlor trick”—I’d be given a random cereal box, or newspaper, once a box of laundry detergent, and told to read it out loud. Which I was able to do, quite accurately. It seemed to mollify some of the adults that I didn’t understand what a lot of the words meant and had to sound out some of the larger words. (Not sure what was up with THAT.) Early reading landed me in kindergarten at the age of four—which for a physically tiny child was pretty scary. Everyone seemed like a “big kid” in size as well as age and I was terrified.

    At the time, my favorite book was called “Whitefoot the Wood Mouse” by Thornton Burgess and I carried it with me everywhere. I still remember feeling bereft when Miss Dalton, my kindergarten teacher, told my mom that I couldn’t bring that book to school with me anymore. (Turned out that she didn’t think it was a “good idea”
    for me to read it to the other kids! Go figure.) My mom took care of a
    twelve-year little girl with Down’s Syndrome the year I was in kindergarten,
    her name was Tiffany and we were great friends. I can vividly remember her holding me in her lap and letting me read Whitefoot to her over and over again. She was so sweetly patient—she didn’t even really like the story—no pictures and she was partial to books with pictures, so I traded off, just to keep it fair.

    Mom was an “antique” collector and loved to frequent thrift stores and rummage sales and flea markets in her search for the next “treasure” and of course, I went
    with her. She would hand me a dollar and tell me to get as many books for it as
    I could. I can still remember the wonderful musty smell of book shelves in
    those old shops—Ahh, what sweet perfume! I would go through each shelf, each
    volume and read a few pages, making my choices with care.

    Back at the cash register, Mom would make a final perusal of my choices and weed out the inappropriate ones—making sure that I ended up with many ancient copies of the classics—Dickens, Poe, Steinbeck, Alcott, Austin—but many other fine writers too—L. Frank Baum, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Fox, Gene Stratton
    Porter, Elizabeth Goudge, Jeffrey Farnol, Anya Seton, Richard Matheson and so
    very many others. Sometimes I needed a box to carry my haul back to the car—which was prophetic, as it turns out.

    I’ll never forget the look of consternation on husband’s face when we went to my
    house to get “the rest of my stuff” the day after we returned from our honeymoon. There were eleven huge boxes of books–the other dozen or so carefully hidden in my closet, to be taken back to our apartment one box at a time over the next several months. My new husband glared at the boxes, then at me and muttered darkly about trusses as he schlepped each cruelly heavy box to the van.

    I still have most of those books. Of course, now I have many, many other books too–but none as precious and magical as the ones from my childhood. They were my toys, they were my friends, they were and are my passion.

    So, I guess this too-long post is to say I can’t remember WHEN I knew that I would be a writer because I can’t remember exactly when I began to read; what I do know for certain sure is that the second followed the first in short order. I’ve always known that writing was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Books and writing always go hand in hand. Thanks for sharing your story, Mer.

  • Karoline Kingley

    I’ve always loved reading, and books became important to me at a young age. (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book I fell in love with.) However in elementary school, teachers don’t ever propose writing as a career. I thought my options were limited to a ballerina, rockstar or fireman. When I was nine I suddenly realized that there are people writing these books I love so much, and maybe I could do it too.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      How are you ever going to make money at being a writer though. You should stick with your safety choice of rockstar, I think. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.vogel.374 Alex Vogel

    The first moment that I can recall where I knew that I wanted to write, and not necessarily that I wanted to be an author, a writer, a novelist, a poet, or any of that, but where I knew that I wanted to write just for my own pleasure was in the third grade. Like the other children, I had a list of books that I was expected to read. For every book that you read, you could take a test, and if you passed, you gained points. You could exchange the points for prizes. I can still remember (vaguely) that there was this box with a wooden frame and a glass window on the top that sat on short legs. If I stepped up on my tiptoes, I could look inside. It contained all sorts of prizes—the less “expensive” prizes and the more “expensive” prizes. Each having a price–the more books that you read, the more points you could get, the nicer prize you could claim. You could say that I was more intrigued by these prizes than I was even the books at this point in my life, but that would change, of course.

    Every day, I would go to the library and scout out new prizes, check on my points, and check out a new book. The more you read—the more points you attained—the cooler the prizes you could claim. I was competitive. Very competitive. And while I wasn’t so good at dodge ball or even friendships, I was a fast reader, and I would conquer this reading game.

    I can’t recall the prize that I really wanted, but I was going to save my points for the big one and not turn my points in for a bunch of little prizes this time. I was going to show everyone that I could get that prize with the expensive tag, the one that only the fastest reader could achieve.

    There was something very special for me waiting inside
    that box and I was going to do whatever, read whatever, and take whatever tests I had to to get it. I can’t tell you know what the grand prize was now, for I can’t remember a single prize in that box, but I can
    tell you that I buckled down, and that quarter, I read as many books as I
    could, as fast as I could. I wonder now, how many of those books that I hurried
    through, memorized key points, without ever really enjoying, and then took a shot at the test….

    Actually now, when thinking back, I
    remember taking the tests without having actually finished some of the books,
    just so that I could get more points, just so I could get that prize that I
    knew was created just for me… but anyway, what I remember–what I am getting
    at– is I finally came across this book that fascinated me. And rather than
    reading what I had to (to, of course, pass the test), I read it twice, three
    times maybe. It was a book about different types of animal characters that
    lived in tents, huts–a village you might say–and they were friends and
    congregated together in this peaceful, happy place where cats loved mice, and
    dogs could socialize with porcupines that lived in zip-up tents. Although they were so different, they
    were friends, and were happy regardless of the differences. I don’t remember
    the title (I wish I could) and I don’t remember the conflict (if there was
    one), but for some reason, I fell in love with it, obsessed over it a little maybe.

    After reading, and reading, and reading the little book, I was left disappointed and craving more. I searched
    the shelves, trying to find another just like it, but nowhere in the library
    could I find another story about lots of different animals that came together
    as friends in just the same way. So then I had an idea. What if—what if I could create my own story, my very own story, or many stories, with a bunch of cute animals (always have been an animal lover, can you tell?) so that I could continue on with my happy little escape, the escape that I had found inside this book. So, using my very first home computer, I buckled down, and wrote–not a book or even a short story– but a play about a bunch of animals that come together for a picnic
    with a narrator (I can still remember battling over the spelling of narrator
    before there was spell check) and scene setting. And I got so much joy out of this–even at such a young age–that I knew that this– writing as a passion and not for points, not for prizes, but just for fun, for any reason, if for no reason at all–that I wanted to create my own worlds, my very own
    stories–my very own characters–was something that I had to, I needed to do. And after reading this book– I didn’t hurry so much with the others, but actually paced myself, enveloped myself in my reading, and while I wasn’t a kid who got in trouble for being a class clown, I did eventually, after stumbling across this book, continue to get in trouble for reading unrelated material in class.

    I guess the moral of the story is that you don’t have to write a grand, fleeting tale to change someone’s life… a little story about talking animals changed mine.

  • Eva Rose

    I loved to read Zane Gray and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Those stories were so real I cried when I realized the characters were no longer alive. Then I reached my own goals for writing.
    There are moments which suspend time, snatch away breath and ignite the soul: the vigbrating string of a Stradivarius, a scent of gardenia on a passing breeze, the fleeting warmth of Zinfadel wine, the smoky snap from the fireplace. It’s magic that I want to hold forever. If I can only capture it, discover the words to give it life and transfer it to the page, the moment will never die.
    A chance encounter with a stranger, a literary quote from a teacher, the spontaneous hug of a child all lift the day above the ordinary. Telling the story must follow. The trembling voice of an elderly dying woman pleads: “Will you listen to my story?” We can accept being gone but not forgotten.
    An unseen presence urges me to define what I see and feel. A hand guides my notes across the page and my fingers on the keyboard. The call to write awakens me from sleep, thoughts tumbling out faster than I can grasp.
    Words find their path to paper. The reader will choose which to keep.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      So many wonderful images here. This is like a poem.

  • Missaralee

    Older brother, so much cooler, wiser and…well, spiffier than me.
    He could read, that magical boy.
    He read and reread Seuss’ masterful Foot Book until the words came alive in my soul.
    And he could write, that mystical boy, when I could only scrawl my name.
    Epic tale of a little worm who only wanted to be cool, and an egotistical horse that drove a shiny porsche.
    Pure genious.
    My brother the artist.
    My brother.
    I followed him everywhere.
    He would make art, and so I would make art.
    His legos were original towers of wonder and mystery.
    As for me, I tried hard just to build semi-decent, four-sided geometries.
    Whatever he loved, I loved too.
    How else do you explain my inner Trekkie?
    So, a writer is what my brother was, until school and homework and folly killed his first love.
    So now I’m the writer and he’s the one who’s catching up.
    Rekindling that flame that made me look up,
    To my brother, the king.
    I have no doubt one day again he’ll surpass me soon.
    Even as my first novel springs from the legacy of his early literacy,
    That picture book, that rhyming fable, fully illustrated that fully captivated me.
    I hope his great work will find a root in the flag I’ve been dragging on:
    our mutual love of art and this written artform.

    • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

      Missaralee, I had also had an older brother who could read and build lego creations I could not when I was very very small. He also made me into an Trekkie. This is a great practice. Thank you for it.

  • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

    I was very young when I first realized that I wanted to write. Hope this practice makes sense.
    ————
    Mommy is tired of me playing in her
    laundry room. I’m too big now for the little table and chair and I want more
    than crayons. I’m eight now, a very big girl. Mommy makes me room at the
    upstairs kitchen table when she realizes I’ve been hiding stacks of paper, all
    scrawled with my childish stories, under the bed. My big brother complains I’ve
    used all his foolscap. Like he uses anyway, he never does his homework. And
    anyway, I have a story to tell. Mommy doesn’t mind. She thinks I’m playing so
    she just keeps buying me paper. And I keep writing. And so passes the summer, with
    me writing at the table when there’s no one to play with outside. Now I’m nine.
    It’s fall, and I’m going to grade four. And I love it because we get to write
    in big notebooks. The clean pages, unmarked, beckon to me. And I write, and I
    write, and then one day Teacher says not to write dialogue anymore because she
    can’t understand my storyline anymore. And I’m disappointed, because my
    characters need to talk. But I do like Teacher says because she’s Teacher
    anyway. She’s Scary Teacher. I can’t talk to her. Nice Teacher left after
    Christmas because she had her baby. But when it’s writing time, I can’t write
    my stories anymore. I can’t tell a story without anyone saying anything in
    them. All the books I read have characters that talk in them, so why shouldn’t
    mine? And the unfairness of this stings inside of me. The table I used to sit
    at home, well, it’s there but I don’t sit there as much anymore. It’s hard to
    write now because Teacher won’t let me write like I should, and we’re moving
    and my best friend isn’t my friend anymore. And months pass in silence. I’m too
    sad to write. It’s summer again, and all the awful spring is behind me. We’re
    in our new, big house. I can write again because that’s all there is to do when
    the World Cup games aren’t on. My team doesn’t win. I’m almost ten now, and I
    know that I have so many stories to tell. I can feel them inside of me,
    growing. I know I have so much to learn, but I know I need to write. I know it
    as elementally as I know I need air.

    • Missaralee

      Teachers can be an inspiration or a curse. I really feel your piece. When I was 8 years old I wrote long and involved stories with twists and turns and overlapping backtracks and beautiful long sentences that ran on and out into the wilds of story. One teacher told me it was all too complicated and too long. You must write short, terse sentences, she said. My spelling was atrocious, she said. You must write linear, intelligible stories, she said. So I did. But now? I ramble on as long as I darn well please. I make incomplete sentences and sprinkle punctuation and terms and “lolz” wherever I like. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what’s proper and what’s not: I’m a creative!

      • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

        I hear you! My story is practically all dialogue now lol

  • http://saracsnider.com/ Sara C. Snider

    A great article and one that inspired me to answer in a blog post of my own (my first, incidentally, thus officially marking the launch of my blog). As a new writer, I find it encouraging to see “success” defined so succinctly and in a way that mirrors my own ideas of what being a successful writer means.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I’m so honored to have helped inspire your first post, Sara!

  • Trish Barton

    I remember the first time I wrote:

    I was one month shy of my 7th birthday and my mother had
    just passed away. A concerned relative told me to write down my
    feelings. It was the best advice I ever followed. My writings flowed
    from a deep place inside of me, and I felt better when my heart
    danced from the page. I knew instantly that writing was what I needed
    to get through my days.

    Later that year, I got in a fight with some girls at the bus stop because I was in a haze from the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. None of the kids around me understood my musical passion, so I was labeled weird and stupid. I
    desperately wanted to share with others how music moved me, how I
    spent hours dissecting album covers, how I felt when I heard The
    Beatles sing The Long and Windy Road. That night after being teased
    and prodded, I retreated into my notebook and remember feeling like I
    met a friend who finally understood me.

    When I wrote compositions in 4th grade and shared them with the other students, they always chose mine to read aloud. I didn’t always feel comfortable sharing, but it felt good to be acknowledged, to be valued as a person for something I
    enjoyed doing. “You should be a writer,” they would say, and I cherished those words as my ticket home.

    Later, I wrote for the high school newspaper. In college, I took creative writing classes. I got married, had kids and took care of our home and finances. To make
    money, I dabbled as a freelance writer and wrote articles for whichever local magazine would have me. Creative writing became something I did once in a while. My words did not have time to sing or dance. I wrote to provide a paycheck and my words marched and informed. I began to lose the purity and freedom my writing delivered to me as a child.

    Today, if I don’t write my heart aches. I become miserable and surly with those around me. Writing keeps me grounded, keeps me sane. I am trying to get back to writing from the heart, to silence the demand that each word be perfect, that each
    project be a paying one. When I focus on an outcome, my writing suffers but more critically, I suffer. I remember back to when I wrote to release heartache, to understand myself, to express myself in spite of those who didn’t get me. I need to get back to that writer: the one who writes for the pure experience of putting words
    down, the one who writes and realizes it’s the heart dancing along the pages that sings, I am a writer!

  • http://www.everythingwhovian.com Caleb Schadeck

    I didn’t know who to go to, I didn’t know who to trust anymore. The little girl’s blank eyes stared at me pressing into me wondering what to do next. I had no clue what to do next. She never said a word only stared at me fully trusting knowing that what ever decision I made would be the right one. What if I was wrong? What if I didn’t make the right choice? Choose the wrong door? Pressed on down the wrong path. My whole life I had made nothing but the wrong decisions. Then the phone wrang.
    “Hello?” I said with a shaky voice.
    “Hello Chris?”
    “No, no this is Allen.”
    “Ah well I was told there would be a Chris here so I am going to leave the message with you anyway”
    “Umm, I don’t know a Chris”
    “That’s ok I’m sure this will reach him tell him that Susan from the C.P.A. called and that his order is ready.”
    “The C.P.A.?”
    “Yes sir”
    “No you don’t undersand, the C.P.A. closed five years ago, I am standing in their old office”
    “Hmmmm well I’m calling from the headquarters right now and we are open. Just be sure to get this message to Chris. Bye now!”
    “Wait! Wait, Wait who gave you this number.”
    “A lady by the name of Clara Beckens”
    “Is this some kind of joke?”
    “I’m afraid I don’t undersand.”
    “Clara is dead.”
    “No sir she is right here, let me put her on.” The phone rustled. “H–Hello”
    My hair stood on end, for the first time in 10 years I was hearing me dead wife’s voice. I glanced over to check on the little girl but she was gone.
    “Allen?” Clara said “I– I don’t undersand you died ten years ago.”
    ***

    • http://www.everythingwhovian.com Caleb Schadeck

      Yeah, that’s usually how my writing goes lots of cliffhangers never any endings also my grammer/spelling is horrid so if you could ignore that as mucha possible :P

  • Sonny

    Don’t just stare, come closer. Come and see what it feels like to be almost aware of yourself. You may not recognise it at first, but it will reveal itself sooner than you think. And when you know it’s arrived, it’s that divine sensation that makes you scream inside, it rips apart every little worry you have, every single sound creeping in is silenced, and nothing toxic remains. It’s the purest of the pure. Spread your fingers and release the baggage, it’s wasn’t worth it in the first place, and now you know what it was meant to be like after so many misguided decisions. It was a lesson after a lesson after all. A graduation of such has never tasted more fruitful that this. Welcome to the free land, we’ve all been waiting for you.