My eldest son doesn’t realize it yet, but he has become a writer. He just spent the last week writing a story. He has over thirty chapters. He would wake up every morning and get on my laptop and write. No matter when I’d see him, I would always find him on my computer writing. He is so excited about his story.
And I’m a bit jealous.
He found it so easy to write, and his excitement was palpable. He couldn’t wait to share it with me. We talked about editing, and just getting what’s in your head written down and then going back later. We talked about people commenting on your writing and how a writer has to have thick skin. It was great.
It reminded me of when I had that same passion at his age to be published. I didn’t know what I was going to publish, just that I wanted to be published. What really struck me was his enthusiasm. It got him sitting down every day to write. I realized that if I am ever going to reach my goal then I have to find that same enthusiasm. And sadly, it’s been missing recently.
And then, my son asked me to come read something. He had reached out to one of his favorite writers in this group he’s become a part of and she responded. He wanted me to read her response and help him because he wanted to respond back. So I read it. I was incredibly moved. This writer I don’t know suffers from the same thing most writers know well. She thinks her writing isn’t good. She was very humbled by my son’s comments on her writing, and she was glad he enjoyed it. But she seems to struggle with thinking her work is creditable, that anyone reads it and likes it.
I gave my son some advice about how to respond and he did, and I was very moved by it (he let me read it, too). He goes away to college soon and I am doing my best to encourage him to continue writing even though he’s not looking to make it his major. He has a real gift for it, and his excitement and interest in it sparks my own. I have been struggling myself lately with finding the desire to write. Granted, I’ve had a lot going on lately in life, but that’s not really an excuse. My son has been helping his dad and step-mom get a house ready for sale, helping with household chores, doing yard work, going through his aunt’s estate after she passed away a few months ago, and getting ready to go to college. During all that, he found time to write twenty-six chapters of a story he had in his brain. This past week he was here with me visiting and he wrote ten more chapters non-stop.
So what’s my excuse?
Last week, I wrote about accountability. Now, I’m going to hold myself to it. I have plenty of ideas in my head. My goal is to get at least one chapter written by my next writing crit group meeting which is in two weeks. I may not have it ready but I will have something down so I can look Amanda in the eye and say “why yes, Amanda, I have been writing.”