Fimnora Westcaw over at Quantum Hermit left the loveliest post about the Writing 101 class. She mentioned she was a wee bit “afeared” of what would happen when the class was done. What would she find to write about? She up and joined a 30 Stories in 30 Days challenge, brave and creative soul that she is! (Or she could be crazy. I expect she’ll know by the end of the 30 days! 😀 )
I’ve had the same misgiving about what to do next. But then I ran across a couple quotes on Ryan Lanz’s A Writer’s Path that caught my attention and I figured I’d have a go at writing about them.
You know how writers are…they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create their work in order to create themselves. –Orson Scott Card
This quote made me wonder if that’s true for all genres. When I’m writing about something personal that’s happened to me or that I’ve been witness to, I don’t feel like it changes me at all. It doesn’t particularly help me grow. It’s just the way I am. But when I’m messing around with fantasy, it’s an entirely different story.
I was involved in writing a sort of “round robin” story with seven other Middle Earth residents on a Tolkien website some years ago. Not exactly an rpg, but close. It took us a little over a year to write an entire adventure — which, had we published it, would likely have been longer than G.R.R. Martin’s last book “Dance With Dragons.” It clocked in at 786 pages (10 pt. font, .8 line spacing, .5 margins)!
Creating a character was a hoot. That’s what made me think about Orson Scott Card’s quote. I had some great help from my personal Middle Earthling, Kim, who knows Tolkien’s Quenya quite well. When I was done, I had created a character so different from me that I was amazed. Totally the opposite! Calensariël Fëanárë was an Ohtar- Envinyatar (Warrior Healer). I’m certainly no warrior princess, though raising kids I HAVE become a bit familiar with home remedies for cuts and scrapes. But the truth is, after living in that persona for over a year, it was strange to see how parts of Calen began to meld with who I am in RL (real life).
But even more interesting was how parts of ME began to find their way into Calen’s character as the story unfolded. At one point she had to mourn her parents who had died years earlier. I can honestly say that came right from MY heart. I began to see how I was able to express parts of me in the story that I’d never been able to talk to anyone about. It was really an enriching experience. So I think Card’s quote is right on.
So now here I am at the end of another post and already wondering what the heck I’m going to write about next. And that’s where the second quote from Ryan’s blog got my attention.
You see, in my view, a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. -Junot Díaz
That being said, I guess I have no excuse for giving up. (Plato over at Plato’s Groove just emailed me with a writing challenge so I guess I have at least ONE more thing I can write! 😀 ) The Pickled Pastor said it best in a comment on Play Date a few posts ago: “Writers write. You couldn’t stop yourself if you tried.” That goes for ALL of us, not just the Writing 101 kids. I can’t wait to read all your stuff ’cause I’m SURE it’ll provide plenty of inspiration to stir up my own smoldering campfire. Don’t let me down now!