Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Remember...Remember?

Most of us writerly folks started at young ages. For me, I've loved writing since I learned how to write. But writing is more than just laying the words, isn't it?

You crazy buddies know what I'm talking about. Before I could write the stories, my mind played them in my head, over and over again. I would tell the stories to my family, any who would listen to crazy daydreaming AR, that is.

Oh man! Those stories in my head. Filled to the brim and boiling over. By second grade I'd learned to write well enough to transfer those stories onto paper and have them make some semblance of sense...well, as much as a seven year old could anyways. I wrote with reckless abandon. There were no barriers, no rules. Nothing but what popped into my mind.

In sixth grade, I'd already decided I would grow up to be the next Stephen King or Isaac Asimov when I had a great lesson from my art teacher. Yeah, not sure either why it was my art teacher and not my English teacher... go figure. Any-who, we were working on a project where we sketched one of those collage things. (You know, the ones where you threw a bunch of stuff together and drew it?) The five minute warning beeped and everyone started wrapping up. My teacher came by and saw my binder filled with story thoughts.

I thought I would get in trouble for writing my story ideas during art class, but instead she picked it up and read through some. I was very nervous, not many outside my friends had read any of my work at this point.

"This is interesting, but what purpose does this have?"

I thought she'd dismissed my work and I was crestfallen. How could it be that she didn't see the coolness of the ideas? The awesomeness of it? With my face burning a dark red, I'm sure, I mumbled something along the line of "they're just ideas that came" or some such thing. (My side of this story is not so important, and it was a LONG time ago, so don't shoot me.)

"The idea came, so the purpose must be there somewhere." She handed it back to me and smiled. "All forms of art need to give meaning to the recipient."

A humongous light-bulb went off and I stared at my notebook with new eyes. "Okay. Thank you."

"No problem... and don't write during my art class."

I don't remember my art teachers name. In fact, she's more a blurry face at this point, but I remember the statement... and that the art room was in the basement of my middle school and could only be accessed by weird stairwells that were a bit creepy if you were ascending or descending them by yourself.

I digress (which is often for you new blogger buddies).

Writing, for most, is a life long journey. It starts with the imagination with that spark of creativity. Moves to paper (or, really computer these days) in a basic rudimentary form. If the writer is lucky, at some point it transcends just the story and brings depth and meaning to both the writer and the reader.

Writing -- even the most commercial -- needs to give a message. It doesn't need to be overwhelming or profound. Just present and accessible to the reader.

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