Saturday, October 18, 2008
Old Friend, New Writer
A friend of mine recently decided she wants to write. I have mixed feelings about this. Most of me is excited to have another writing buddy, and I'm proud of her, for doing something she wants to do, for dreaming big, for mining the creative depths. I have no doubt she will be a talented writer. She has a flair for storytelling, and she's incredibly intelligent and well read.
And yet a small part of me thinks, "don't do it". Because from my own experience, and from talking to other writers I know that the next couple of years are going to be hard ones for her. She will struggle with her own identity. She will find some ugly things in those creative depths. Wrestling with them will make her stronger, but it's tiring, and messy, and scary. Writing takes time. Something will have to give. Those decisions about what gives and when are not easy to make and are often loaded with guilt.
People she trusted to support her will let her down. She will spend too much time wondering if her writing stinks, or if those trusted people are jealous that she's pursuing her goals or are worried about what she write, or maybe they can't imagine that she has anything interesting to say, or maybe they just aren't interested in her at all. She will learn to keep the writer part of her self safe, but only after a lot of painful bruises.
Others will surprise her with their interest and support. And I want to and will be one of those people.
Lauri Griffin is a published short story writer who is currently revising some longer works. She holds degrees in educational psychology and gifted education, and is the instructional coordinator for a a literacy program. Lauri is fascinated by the many different ways our brains learn, and by the creative process. Visit Lauri's Reflections, for more thoughts on creativity, writing, lifelong learning, and parenting.