William Blake once wrote: “There are things that are known and things that are unknown. And in between, there are doors”
I have received a lot of questions lately about my writing such as: How do you find things to write about? How do you become a writer? Why are you writing a book? What do you do to be able to write? How are you so young yet so wise? When do you set time aside to write? Why don’t you want to major in journalism? How? What? Where? Why? When?
I feel like writing is not a craft you can learn. It is not like learning to ride a bike or practicing basketball or learning the skills to be a salesman. All of a sudden you will not be able to sleep at night; there will be far too many thoughts running through your head. The words will start to build up in your throat like the piles of leaves in the fall. For me, when I was just a child I started to scribble and scribble I have for my entire life.
I used to write in random notebooks, paper scraps, post its, napkins, any thing that popped into my brain. For example when I was in 4th grade I wrote this line: “I was sitting in my backyard, staring into space, when the music started to play.” I found that in an old photo album/notebook “thing” I once put together. So how to be a writer you ask? You write about everything you see. Everything in your life is tattooed down in invisible on your fingertips. Write about the trees, the breeze, or the buzz of the bees. Write about your worries, snow flurries, or many adventures and scurries. Write about you being happy, a little crappy, and maybe even sometimes you get sappy.
And the thing most people don’t understand about writing is that once you start, you’ll never really stop! Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you go for huge stretches of time without writing anything at all. I know I have, and my frequent readers, you know I have too! But don’t be scared of taking a little break. In the meantime, when you’re waiting, make big mistakes. Mistakes in life are a key to writing, and lets face it…we all make them. No, do not go break up with your boyfriend to feel the heartache and be able to write from the depths of your broken heart. But try new things, walk on the edge, take a leap into the wild side – you’re bound to make a mistake but you are also bound to learn some pretty cool things.
How do I know what to write? Well first rule of writing is to never bite your tongue. Find a way to say what you’re thinking and just say it. Say it in poetry or captions of pictures. Say it through metaphors or say it in CAPITAL LETTERS. Say it! If you think it is important enough for the world to read, then don’t apologize for what you write. Just write it.
Most importantly being a writer means getting comfortable with your brain. Get comfortable with your fears and dreams. Get even more comfortable with emotion: anger, sadness, happiness, confusion, and excitement. And once you learn that you don’t need to hang onto everything anymore that is when you will fall in love with writing. Once it is written down, it feels as if you let something fall off your shoulders. You don’t need to carry it around any longer.
But Kelly, where do you find inspiration? I take the back roads. I let life get a little bumpy. I go away on weekend trips and I try new things. I say how I feel and I don’t hold anything back. I jump into everything with two feet. You won’t be scared of the cold water unless you test the water to see if its cold. So don’t test the water just jump in!