Friday Speak Out!: Write so a Piece of You Doesn't Die

Friday, July 02, 2021
by Theresa Boedeker

"How much do you love to write?" our writing teacher asked, starting the four-hour night class.

All those years ago, I thought it was a funny question. Afterall, we had signed up for a two-year commitment and were paying to get a graduate degree to learn the craft of story. To shape words and mental images crafted from 26 letters that would resonate and worm their way into the hearts of our readers.

"Writing is hard. It involves working alone. Rejection. And if you want to make money, you should write ads, or choose a different field."

She looked at each of us. All 17 scattered though out the room. None of us commenting.

"Would you write if no one read your work? If no one published your precious words? Would you still feel the need to get up and create? To put pen to paper and pull-out thoughts and ideas from you brain?"

My mind was whirling with questions I had never pondered.

"Unless you write for the love of it. Because it feeds your soul. Or it makes you come alive; you won't persist very far. You need to love it enough to stick to it. You need to have good reasons why you do it, or you won't do it. You instead will come up with excuses and listen to the doubt of others and yourself. Write because you love it. Because unless you write a part of you dies or is neglected, then you will find a way to do it. Don't write for everyone else, or their praise which is never equal to your time or effort. Write for yourself. Write whether anyone reads it or not. Write, because if you don't a piece of you dies."

I have never forgotten my teacher's words.

We all find time for what we really love. Whether it is playing the piano, solving long math equations, hiking in the rain, cooking casseroles, or watching a movie while lying on the couch.

If writing is one of our loves, and we have good reasons why we do it, and how it makes us feel, we will make writing a priority. But we first need to realize 1. why we write. 2. The benefits we get from it and how it feeds our being.

Take the time to name them. To know them. (Writing destresses me. Sorts out my thoughts, etc.) And then remind yourself of these benefits and the importance of writing in your life.

Also, know yourself.

I get crabby when I just go, go, go and don't spend time almost every day being creative. Whether it is playing the piano, drawing flowers, cross stitching, or coloring. Many creative endeavors feed parts of my soul. But it is only writing that clicks all the lights on.

Possible questions:

What do you love about writing and how does it feed your soul?

Would you write if no one read your work? 

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Despite having a number of creative outlets, writing is her favorite one. Theresa has been published in numerous print and online publications. She dreams in words and would keep writing even if no one read her work. She writes online at https://www.theresaboedeker.com/

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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
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3 comments:

Sioux Roslawski said...

Theresa--Great post. If nobody read my work? Well, it wouldn't be quite the same. I write to make people laugh, to make people reflect, to begin discussions. If I wrote and only I read it? Well, I'd still write, but it wouldn't be completely satisfying.

I'd still write because I vent through my writing. I work things out via my writing. I heal because of my writing.

Good luck with your future writing, Theresa.

Theresa Boedeker said...

I do agree, Sioux, a fun part of writing is having other people reading and interacting with it. Especially writing to make people laugh. So I think not having anyone read my work would make the process be less dimensional. But still, if no one read it, I would still write. I have been known to send myself into giggles when I edit my more humorous work. 😂

Angela said...

Theresa ~ I LOVE this post. Your teacher sounds fantastic. I write because when I don't, I feel terrible. I write to feel less lonely, to connect with other writers, be part of a community--whether my work is published or not. I also write to creating understanding, of my past and myself, and to put those events into a wider context or perspective. I write to relive parts of my life and hang out with my loved ones who've passed. I write to celebrate the beauty in the world.

Thanks for the speak out, Theresa! Good luck on all your creative endeavors. :)

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