"Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great or original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished."
I started my writing journey when I was very young. My mother told me I doodled on everything when I was small. Receiving notebooks, journals, books, and pens as gifts has always been exciting for me. I can't wait to get home and start filling them up with the ideas and scenes in my head. I carry journals with me everywhere. And I must admit, I can waste away hours at a bookstore....sometimes half of my day is absorbed in a bookstore sipping on a latte. It's an extreme pleasure of mine, books and writing.
I write everything down. From grocery lists to one liners that catch my eye, everything goes into a notebook. Sometimes I write nonsense things down like names I like, or colors. If it tickles my inner muse, it gets recorded. Period.
Naturally, this means I call myself a writer. I do this not just because I have been published in magazines and literary journals, but because writing keeps me sane. Lord Byron said it best, "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad."
I write whenever I can. In the early morning, at my son's nap time, and late into the evening (if I can stay up that late). I don't always plan what I'm going to write, or what direction I want my stories or articles to go in. I have poetry yearning to be published and short stories that scream for a book's binding. Nameless characters and pretty places that long to be lived in.
I am called to write by neurological tendencies. I don't know how else to express myself. What I do know is that Byron, Poe, Nabokov and I would have been fantastic friends. I'm in love with their writing styles and word choice. I try like hell to learn from them daily. I don't want to mimic them or their writing abilities, but I do want to become as versed as they were. Sometimes when I read their works, I have to stop and literally savior and marinate in their style. There's a pull from somewhere inside me that refuses to allow me to go on unless I digest their depictions. I try to understand why their writing flows so freely and melodious, then I attempt to create the same in my writing.
Like Coleridge states in the above quote, every writer must create their own voice. How do you want your readers to perceive you, how do you want them to remember you? Some may disagree with me, but I don't believe that great writers are made, I believe they're born. Either you know how to write or you don't. Taking English as my major in college, didn't make me a writer, nor did it teach me how to write. It made me a better writer. You see, I was already a writer going into it. Putting words down on a page so that they grab a reader's attention and make them want to read more, was something I had been doing for years prior to enrolling in college. It's the same reason why those that have a knack for concoctions chose chemistry and the sciences as their major. It's something that they are already good at and they want to hone in their strengths.
As a writer, you create your own voice. And it's this personal voice that comes through in ones writing regardless if you are allowing it to or not. It owns you, you don't own it.
For anyone that is truly a writer at their core, you have to write or you crumble.
Please share your writing journey, I'd love to get lost in your world for a moment.