Friday, June 27, 2014

Your Writing Journey--A Trip Worth Taking!

Summer brings vacations to mind. You must make plans, pack your bags and start on your way to paradise. Or wherever it is that you plan to go.

Today, let's talk about another trip--your writing journey. Anyone who writes has been on this journey from the first time they applied pen to paper or tapped a keyboard to bring up words strung together that made some sense.

One of the women in my online writing group found a competition that required a personal essay of no more than 1000 words about a writing journey. My friend, who lives in South Africa, wrote to the theme and submitted it to our group for critique. I thought it was a great piece and told her so, along with a few suggestions for polishing before she sent it to the contest. In our email chat, I asked her if she minded if I'd send a piece of my own, already written to the same theme. She replied that she thought it a great idea and said, "Let's see if any others in the group would do the same." She sent out the challenge and a few have signed on.

I've been reading the efforts today and have been thrilled with the essays that have been submitted. We're all writers but we all came to it on different paths. One started because of letters she wrote to family members as an ex-pat overseas. She was shocked that they'd loved her letters, some had even kept them for her all tied up in pretty colored ribbons. Another had aimed to be a writer since kindergarten when her teacher had the children write their names and then said to them, "This is the beginning of your writing life."

Many start on the writing path later in life. I was one of those. The desire had been there for decades but I needed a nudge to get started. The one I got was more like a punch in the gut! No problem, it was what I needed to start writing. It didn't matter that I was well over fifty at the time.

If you have a yen to submit to the contest I mentioned earlier, go to this page for guidelines and details. But hurry. June 30th is the deadline. No entry fee so what do you have to lose. Make it funny, make it smart, make it inspirational--whatever you wish. The contest is sponsored in the UK but anyone around the world is eligible. You can even read past winners to get an idea of the type of essay they like.

Even if you don't enter the contest, give some thought to your personal writing journey. What kind of journey has your writing life taken you on? Where did it begin? What bumps in the road did you meet? How did you overcome them? Where are you now and where are you going? Who helped you?

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