The amount of writing I have done for the past week is absolutely ridiculous. It has all been for academic purposes and it has drained me of all my energy, creative and otherwise. However, today in my Writing and Style class, we wrote a final reflection on the class. The instructor told us that the best way to go about doing this is to write a letter to ourselves 10 years in the future. This took on a different form than I expected it would. Our audience was ourselves, with the teacher eventually reading it as well. And now, it only feels right that I share it with my larger audience. This is especially aimed at any writers. Whether you consider yourself a “writer” or just like to write in your spare time, I hope this will ring true for you.
I hope that you have continued to write in any way possible. Carrie Lamanna said at the end of the semester last year that “Each and every one of you have something to say. And each and every one of you has written something that is important and that matters.” And while right now it’s hard to imagine that anyone really cares what you have to say, you at least have to try to get them to care. If you stop caring, so will they. This semester you looked at the word “this” in your own writing so much that it lost its meaning and almost forgot why you were looking at it for so long. Remember the word you are describing needs to be immediately after the “this.” THIS TECHNIQUE is something that has and will continue to make you a stronger writer.
It’s hard to imagine that you’re not still writing at this point. And I mean writing substantially, more than just lists or cards or emails. I mean writing with every ounce of emotion that you do on your blogs or in your profile piece on law school. When you write your emotions and use your voice and put a little piece of yourself into your writing, it tends to be pretty amazing. All those love letters you wrote this year as part of your own challenge to write more, those were moving (if I do say so myself) and that same kind of feeling and devotion is what you should be putting in all your writing. (That is why I say write something more substantial than lists. It’s a little hard to put your heart and soul into a grocery list. Fresh, ripe, and juicy tomatoes – while entertaining, it may be a little over the top).
Remember those sentence imitations that we did and do some now. When you find a sentence that strikes you or that you just fall in love with, write it down and imitate it. You were pretty proud of those sentences too, and you are more than capable of writing them yourself. Write sentences that other writers would want to imitate. Write sentences that people find so striking, they stop reading, look up and think about it, and then they read it again. Write with such meaning and intention that people use your words as quotes.
Above all, just write. That’s what you do and you’re pretty good at it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If this class has taught you anything it’s that you can always improve on your writing. And you can always write. The title of this class is Writing and Style. For you, it was more of “Writing and Life” because it helped reinvigorate the writing skills that tend to only show up in your blog posts. While your blogs are great and they are more of a tool for you to write and put it out there when you need to, don’t focus on followers. Even if you only have one follower, that’s one person who cares about what you write and finds value the words you put on a page (or a screen) and that one person should be enough for you to keep writing. Keep using your voice and putting your thoughts and emotions out there. People care. Not everyone, but let’s be honest, you don’t care about what everyone has to say either.
At this point in your life, you’re 31 years old and you probably have children. If you can’t find it in you to write for yourself, write for them. Show them that you are strong enough to use your voice and that they shouldn’t be afraid to do the same. Write them letters for the milestones in their lives. Write blog posts that are dedicated to them. Write on the day that they are born and on their first birthday. And then share your writing with them. Let them see those same pieces of your heart manifest themselves on pages. Let them see that they mean enough to you for you to write to them and about them. Write, share, grow.
Believe in yourself and give future writers the belief that they need because it is quickly becoming a lost art. Use nice paper and ink rather than a screen and some keys. There is no way to improve upon your writing if you don’t do it. If you don’t share your writing, you are not allowing for any kind of constructive criticism. Write, share, grow.
Keep writing. You can do it.