What I’ve Learned From My Writing

By Ruth Wellens

 What I’ve learned from my writing is that it has taught me some things about myself.  I have found it one of the most pleasing, aggravating, rewarding, and frustrating activities I have ever pursued.  While the act of writing has at times been difficult to live with, I have found I also can’t live without it. 

I have stories going on in my head almost all the time.  My ideas can originate from anywhere – a song on the radio, an overheard conversation, a news article, or a casual encounter with a store clerk or a waitress.  Sometimes when I recall the incidents during my day, my mind goes into “what if” drive – such as “what if” this happened, or “what if” someone reacted this way, or “what if” someone was thinking or feeling this way?  It’s at those times when my imagination will begin to develop a story.   

What happens next?

With the idea brimming inside my head, the first draft of writing ensues often without a hitch.  After that, however, comes the difficult task of rewriting.  One of the best steps I can take for rewriting is to set aside my work for a day or two or more and then to go back to it. Rewriting or revision is to see again, and that’s what occurs when the writing is reread after time has passed. Rewriting is writing as clearly and concisely as I can.  It is asking if I have used a certain word or words too often?  It is wondering if this part is needed?  After going over my writing, I go over it again.  Sometimes I just need to stop or I have learned I would never have a finished product.

While I don’t write everyday, I find that if I have a story or idea in my head, I need to get it down on paper.  If I don’t, I’ve learned I get very crabby!