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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So You Wanna Be a Writer?

Then WRITE dammit!


I've always enjoyed writing. I wrote lyrics, poems, jokes, rewrote commercials to fit my ideas, and my own kiddy stories. All before I was twelve. Of the lot, only poems were shared because I knew I nailed the rhyming—my poor mother had to endure those. The rest? Well, come on, they "weren't good enough to share yet", but it didn't stop me from trying. Heck, I got in trouble in 4th and 5th grade for not doing homework . . . several times. Who had time for that? I was busy practicing for my "make-stuff-upper" future. Priorities and all. "Oh no TV time?" Well darn it . . . I guess I'll stay in my room . . . and write or read. Ha! Joke's on you my dear parents. The joke is ON you.

Here's the thing: I did it all in Spanish and that was cool and easy 'cause it's my first language. And then English happened when I moved here. Like seriously? WTF. It totally messed with my brain. Don't get me wrong, I loved learning it. But suddenly I thought: well there it goes, I can no longer write. Like there was some kind of law stopping me from pursuing a passion just because of language change. Stupidest thought I've ever had (cut me a break, though, I was only fourteen). Still, it took years for me to try again. Sure I did some original writing in high school and college but I *just knew* I could never be good enough because of language barrier. Again: WTF. I don't know about you, but sometimes I blow my own mind with my ridiculous thoughts. It's almost like I have a special gift for stopping myself from being brave or something.

Guess what? 
I still fancied myself a writer. But I didn't write. Therefore I wasn't. 

I can aspire to be a writer all I want. I can dream about it. I can make doodles on blank pages, but if I don't write at least a line or two, then I'm only fooling myself. And that's the worst: letting ourselves down. I didn't want to allow language insecurities getting to me and stopping me. So I wrote in Spanish and translated it to English. Then I tried in English as a big leap of faith . . . you'd think being creative in English was impossible the way I was going about it, but alas. The point is, I did it. I tried, then slowly and surely it became okay to call myself a writer. I realized it didn't matter if I shared my words or not, I just had to write. No excuses. 

What does that have to do with me now? Well, sometimes I still let the dream or fear take over and think I'm a fraud. But if I'm writing, I'm not. Right? (Just go with it) I have to keep going and remember the first step is to get butt in chair and write in whatever language/creative way the words speak to me.

I'm a writer. I will do the thing. 

How about you? 
Any silly excuse ever stop you from pursuing writing?

21 comments:

  1. I think I've been letting silly thoughts keep me from writing lately. I think it's important to just write and stop worrying about how good it is.

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  2. The need for anonymity, but only for certain things. I have been a writer; I am a writer; I will be a writer.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. I didn't know Spanish was your first language.
    My excuse was laziness. I'll own it.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Like Alex, I had no idea Spanish was your first language. I think that is neat!

    I started writing seriously when I was twelve and haven't stopped. Well, almost. I went through a bad bout of writer's block once that nearly threatened my writing, bringing it to an end. But then I realized why I wasn't writing, which was because I out grew the story I was telling, so I rewrote it. There are times that if I don't write anything in a given day that I feel like I wasted the day.

    You're definitely no fraud!

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  5. This was perfect!!! I LOVE posts like this. Soooo inspiring. And I can't even imagine not having English as my first language, let alone writing in another one! I think it's so cool you speak two languages…

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  6. My writing is sporadic lately and I blame the day job 100%, but I could also blame myself. Sometimes it's hard to get writing when I'm tired after an 8 hour shift. The people who can do that are amazing to me. I try to devote days off to writing because I know I WILL have the energy to do it, and I don't want to pass up the chance with excuses.

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  7. I think it is very brave of you and anyone to speak another language. Let some of us try to write a novel in Spanish and see how that goes. At a certain point I think every writer either says, while reading, "I can write better than that." or "I can write as good as that." We start with that confidence then somehow instantly lose it the moment we have to show our work off. It is our struggle, but you are not just a writer you are a published, author. I'd say you are doing pretty well.

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  8. I think your English writing is better than most people who learned it as a first language. You rock, mamacita! I'm glad you have the urge to write and don't ignore it. I love reading your stuff.

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  9. English is actually my second language too, but I've spoken it from a young age and mostly read English, so it never occurred to me to not write in English. In fact, I see it as a much bigger stretch to write in my first language.

    But yeah, I agree with you, there's no such thing as an "aspiring writer." You either write or you don't. It really is that simple.

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  10. Nice! Though it makes me feel guilty since I've been putting off getting back into the swing of things. Between you and Morgan giving us writing and encouragement speeches this week, I'm beginning to feel the urge to write again! Thanks!

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  11. My biggest excuse has always been not having the time. Well, I'm on maternity leave right now and have quite a bit of time in the day, but I'm still finding it tough to sit down and write. I think the doubts are all there in my mind and taking over too much. Thank goodness for you guys to keep me going! You're the greatest! xxx

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  12. My biggest excuse?
    Having started "too late"... which is more reason why I need to get down to it... time ain't waiting for nobody!

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  13. I think we're writers even when we aren't writing. It's something that is part of us--writing just helps us make a living at it!

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  14. I never would have guessed that English is your second language. Remarkable.

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  15. tu eres loco!
    escribe!
    (I hope i got that right =)
    keep writing, chica!

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  16. It's lovely to hear how you stayed determined and triumphed a little at a time! Silly excuses? Nope, just minor details like I hate my books and my writing and would much rather be watching TV or playing video games. Yet, I keep writing and revising. I keep doing it and hope it'll turn out good eventually... (Isn't that the definition of insanity?)

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  17. I had no idea Spanish was your first language. Interesting! You sure have mastered English. I've always thought it would be so cool to be bilingual. Sadly my attempts at learning other languages have been too pathetic for words LOL.
    I'm with Lexa on the minor details like I hate my books LOL. I always feel like a fraud.

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  18. I too didn't know English was your first language, you have learnt well. Finding excuses not to write can be too easy at times, but I hate to think what I'd be like without it! Happy writing :)

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  19. I love how you took a leap of faith and succeeded. My excuses -- letting too many other things get in the way. I just need to get my butt in the chair and stop that from happening.

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  20. I think we need those first two lines on t-shirts! :) Great post!

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  21. English being your second language is incredible. I had no idea. And you know, it always blows my mind when someone says, "Yeah, I'm a writer. I haven't written anything yet, but I have this story idea that I'll probably write one day." That's not how this works!

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