Like many girls, Iíve been writing practically my entire life. I remember making up crazy stories in grade school and occasionally Iíll come across them when Iím digging around in my closet. You might not know it, but Iím actually an award winning writer. In the same spot where I stash those old papers and notebooks I have a few anthologies that I was awarded a spot in and even a ribbon or two from writing competitions. Yes, I was quite the writer in my youth. Iím sure I got much recognition on the playground after lunch each day.
Iím still a writer, but I havenít won any awards of late. Iím okay with that, however. I donít write to win awards and often I donít even write to have others read what I crank out. As other writers out there know, there are plenty of reasons to write:
Write Because You Have To
Okay, while not the best reason to write, sometimes you just have to. Your English teacher requests an essay or theme on some bizarre topic and you must produce. You might pull together a brilliant research paper for science or social studies. You might write up a dazzling summary of the short story you just read. Whatever. I personally find that when forced, I can certainly write what is requested easily enough, but itís often not my best work.
Write Because You Want To
There is a common misconception that to be a good writer you have to be good at writing. While it might be easier to write a certain way if youíre already a good speller and know the difference between a dependent cause and the independent variety, an A in English is not required. If you want to write, write! Some of the most interesting writing Iíve ever read has been a hodge-podge of languages. I have a friend who speaks and writes in both English and Spanish.
She is so fluent in both that she can switch from one to the other in the middle of a sentence and not realize what sheís done. Not only that, but she also likes to use the abbreviations from texting and IM when jotting down notes and journals. I usually have to get her to translate a few words for me when I read her stuff, but her writing is so real and really funny, even if it would be an English teacherís nightmare.
Write Because It Feels Good
Sometimes you have so much drama on the inside you just have to get it out. Writing is a great way to get all those thoughts and ideas out where you can deal with them. Write about fights you had; write up imaginary stories about your friends or your future boyfriend. Write stories about what youíll do when you get out of school someday. Write journal entries to help you plan for the future. All of that writing is cathartic.
Donít be afraid to use your writing to feel better Ė itís okay to write something just for yourself. But if you have a story where you steal your best friendís boyfriend before punching out that bully at lunch, you might do well to keep it to yourself. Itís supposed to make you feel better, but it likely wonít have the same effect on your BFF (or her boyfriend.)