Learning to Write

Do you remember the first time you picked up a writing instrument? Chances are you had a marker or crayon and headed to the nearest wall. Good times. Then you went to school and had to use a pencil on soft brown paper with lines on it. You learned how big to make a lower case A. You zipped all the way through to Z. Printing seemed like the best thing since the decoder ring in the cereal box.

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Time passed, and you got to another level of writing, called Cursive. Because there’s so much cursing involved. You got to use a Palmer pen, and smear ink on the paper. If you write left-handed, life became hell. Somehow, you got through it. You could sign your name.

Sometime later, you learned to type on a keyboard. You stared at a computer screen and pecked away for 140 characters, revolutionizing literature as we know it. We now know that learning cursive is pretty darn important and needs to be included in schools along side the keyboard insturctions. Time magazine said so. http://time.com/2820780/five-reasons-kids-should-still-learn-cursive-writing/

Do you remember the first fiction you wrote? Chances are it involved someone else’s creations, like Buffy or Star Trek. Fan Fiction is a great way to start to write, to hone your skills and learn how big to make an A. Just like learning to actually write things down, you need to learn how to construct a story, have a plot, real characters, and suddenly you are creating your own universe, your own stories.

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Sure, you need people to read and critique your work, and not your mom or anyone who has known you all your life. You need hard-assed iron-fisted readers to tear your heart’s work to shreds. Because only then can you see if the center of the story is viable. Or if there was rot from the very beginning.

Do you remember the first book you ever read? For me, that book was a small story book about The Three Little Pigs. I read half of it out loud to my teacher in kindergarten. Then I got nervous and couldn’t remember how to say the words. But I still got a star. I moved on to Chapter Books and The Bobbsey Twins. I am blessed with a brother and a sister who went through school ahead of me. I got to read all their book assignments long before I should have. I still remember the shock of John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, at the end.

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Wherever you are on your learning journey, remember there are many ways to get help and assistance for what you would like to learn. There are vast herds of writers in the same boat you are. All of them mixing their metaphors almost as badly as I am. There are writers clubs, there are on-line classes, and there are community college classes available almost everywhere. Get what you need to learn, and get published.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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