Sunday, July 17, 2011


I broke out my pen again and started on my novel.  It feels strange to call it that, but that is exactly what I want it to be.  I feel intimidated because I don't have the education background that others have.  I only attended 1 year of college, but on every paper I wrote, my professors gave me an A.  I think I even recall an A+ and a comment saying "great writing".  This was a shock to me considering I barely skated through High School and my dear English teacher didn't like my writing.  I know it is only one opinion, but hers was the only one that counted in those days.  To this day (25 yrs later) her words still ring clear every time I feel like sharing my writing with anyone.  I know I am insecure, and have been all my life.  I grew up with learning disabilities, before we even knew there were such a thing.  I have always felt dumb, and teased as such.  My ACT scores aren't even mentionable.  So here I am 40-something and still insecure.  Of course my insecurities also stem from having a few English majors in the family.  I just can't put myself out there to the critics of all critics. (love you guys!) 
One thing that really scares me is that someone might steal my idea.  There is one person who seems to have taken off on my idea when they asked me about the premise of my writing.  So now I really don't want to share in fear of being betrayed.  I know that sounds crazy, but I am writing from deep inside and it would hurt to have someone take advantage of that. There is a part of me that wants to share it because it is something that I have put so much time and energy in, but then the thought of it being slammed or even laughed at scares me.  Obviously I am considering it or I wouldn't be writing about it here. 
I suppose when the time is right, I will share something. 


Mandy said...

Educational background does not a writer make, dear sister. Having something to say and the desire to say it is a good place to start.

Just so you know, it's not easy for English majors to share their writing, either. Writers of any background are their own worst critics and it will always depend on what you ask your readers to look for. If you share your writing looking for feedback, you're asking your readers for a different kind of reading than just for a "Hey, this is what I'm writing and I wanted to show you what I'm doing."

When you're ready to share, direct your readers' initial readings. Maybe have a couple of people read it at a time, one for a general feel for your writing and one for more detailed feedback. If your first readers know what you're looking for, they're more apt to look for it.

Writing is always personal and fiction/poetry is usually the most personal because it often comes from our experiences. Writing helps us to make sense of the world(s) around and within us, so it is natural that there is a large investment of time, thought, and labor.

There is a debate on whether or not writers write for themselves or readers first. I think we write for ourselves with the understanding that maybe, eventually, others will read what we have written. If no one else, we will go back and read what we have written, if only to say, "What in the world was I thinking?" Besides, you've already begun to share your writing by blogging. That's more than I've ever done. And, lastly, how do you know what you have to say (in fiction, poetry, blogs, etc.) if you don't write it down?

Anonymous said...

Hey! I love your writings and really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas. I can't write, but I'd love to learn to express myself better. You do that very well. This is one opinion, keep on writing! Love you, MOM

Mindi said...

I love writing, but would never even think of writing a novel or anything serious - for the same reason you're feeling insecure about it. Also, I hate to put myself "out there" for people to see. I guess sometimes I come across as very outgoing and funny, but I'm pretty insecure about my feelings and what other people say to me, so that probably wouldn't be a good career choice for me! I admire your courage!

I think when you're writing from the heart the words flow easier and the feelings are more real. Does that make sense? I think writers write for themselves a lot of the time, like the creative juices start flowing and the words won't stop. That's just my opinion though.

Good luck, friend!

Malie said...

Write the novel!!! Then when you become famous, I can tell everyone that I know you. Like Mandy said, you don't need a big degree saying that you are a certified writer. Just let the creativity flow.

Nancy said...

Where are the "like" buttons?? I like what everyone said so far!

I know that once you've been betrayed it's very hard to trust again. If someone stole an idea you had in the past then of course you already know not to trust that person again... but don't let that stop you from writing. Like Mandy said, I think it's a good idea to have a couple of trustworthy friends or family members read your writings and give you honest feedback. (I would be honored to do that for you.) I started a private blog that is unlisted and nobody can read except by invitation... and that's where I've started writing some of my feelings of losing my child. Maybe you could do something like that for your novel and only invite a few chosen ones to read and give you feedback. Just a thought.

I love you, sis and I think that you should definitely write a novel. You've read enough to know the basics and to know what you do and don't like... so go for it! Don't let others' lame comments hold you back, especially when they are from 25 years ago. You are very good at expressing yourself. I think you would be an amazing writer!

Lots of love,

Nancy said...

By the way.... you should re-read the quote you have on the left side of your blog just underneath the butterfly:

"Nothing ever stays the same. We are always evolving, always moving forward and need to welcome change and the opportunities it brings. Embrace the future and all it holds for you".

I need to have that posted right where I can see it every day - but you are the one who sent the necklace with that quote to me (thanks again, by the way!). I think we both need to keep those words in our hearts. Just because you have never written a novel before doesn't mean that you can't. So "welcome change and the opportunities it brings".

{heart} you!

Anonymous said...

Karen, I don't know you personally, but have followed your journey for quite a while now. I am a retired elementary school teacher with courses in the writing process of which I taught teachers the process and taught my students to write using the process. I enjoy encouraging people to write. Don't let anyone stop you from doing something you like. It's wonderful to express yourself through writing. Everyone has their own style. Get those thoughts out first, then go back and revise, revise and revise. Editing is the very last last thing in the process. Even when you think the piece is completed you will always wish you had added more or said something differently. That is writing. I would be honored to help you through this if you would like. I won't steal your ideas. I am more into stamping cards, scrapbooking, sewing, and quilting. Think about it. Sandy from MD