Story of a Writer is a serial based on the old writing journal entries in which I reported my progress on my latest writing-related adventure. This is the very honest story of my development as a young writer, warts and all. My comments point out how my perspective has changed or what I have learned since then. Hopefully, if you’re an aspiring writer, you’ll find it useful to you—but, if not useful, at least entertaining!
In this episode: I learn that the art of writing is not meant to be practiced and studied as much as it is meant to be enjoyed.
February 24, 1999 [10 years old]
The Blessing of Ignorance
Those early stories were pretty silly and nothing ever came of them. I would not dream of presenting any of them to a publisher. But they were very useful in one respect: they allowed me to connect with other writers and to share with a genuinely enthusiastic audience. Yes, those early stories were terrible. But none of us knew that. To us, they were hysterically funny and extremely clever.
Our own ignorance was actually a blessing, because we learned one thing very well: We learned to love writing.
Just Enjoy Writing
Because we were having fun, we were encouraged to continue writing. I can’t tell you what an important concept this is: to learn to enjoy the craft for itself, simply because it pleases you.
The more serious a writer becomes, the more easily this concept is lost in the clutter of proper grammar, experiments in style, endless editing, and the concern about what one’s audience will think. Many successful authors lose their unique flavor because they forget where they have come from and why they began to write in the first place.
Forget all the rules. Just write because you like it. Then, let the rules mold themselves around your genuine enjoyment of your craft.