Every semester, I always have several students who truly enjoy writing. Some even dream of becoming a writing. To encourage you along your journey, I would like to share a quote and a website that has made all the difference in my writing career.
The first is a quote by J.A.Jance: “A writer is someone who has written today.” For a long time, I struggled with calling myself a writer because I had not been published; as a result, I did not feel validated by the experts in the field. However, stumbling upon this quote turned my thinking upside down. Being published didn’t make me a writer. Being a recognized, super-talented writer like Stephen King did not make me a writer. Writing did. This freed me to not only call myself a writer, but to invest time working on my craft like “any writer would.” I even put the question “Written today?” on my phone to remind me.
Another important part of my journey involves community and feedback. I found this on a website called Writing.com. There I can read and review the work of other writers just like me. In turn, I can post my own work for others to review. Sometimes, this feedback is invaluable. The only glitch I have ever found is that many publishers consider anything that has been posted on such a site to have already been published, which means they won’t touch it. However, it is a great way to get started. To keep my creative juices percolating, I still post flash fiction, stories of less than 300 words.
If you are interested, here is a link to my online portfolio. You can check out what I have written and see if you would like the site. If you do, sign up for the free membership and let them know that PLScholl2 referred you. (Full disclosure: I think I get gift points, which is the site’s currency.) If I remember correctly, the free membership will allow you to post up to ten stories for reviews. Of course, I was sucked in a long time ago and upgraded my account; what you see on my portfolio won’t be everything you can do with a free account. I will also warn you that some of the writers take reviewing seriously and can be brutally honest. Personally, I want that, but if you are the sensitive type you might not. Also make sure you return the favor and spend some time reviewing others. You’ll learn a lot and they will appreciate it.
Well, I guess since I have written this blog today, I am a writer!