I started writing poems and short stories when I was ten years old. I’m not known by friends and family for being an outgoing or adventurous person. In fact, I really like to keep to myself. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t dream. In fact, I think because I am kind of quiet, it makes my imagination that much more active. And it’s one of the main reasons I love to write.
When I started writing, some of my poems were a little sad and the short stories were about characters living adventures far different from my real life. I didn’t share what I wrote then and one day my oldest sister found some of the pieces I’d written. She didn’t like them and told me that it was okay to write, but that I should be writing “happier” stuff. Unfortunately, that little bit of criticism stayed with me for a very long time and I didn’t start sharing my work with anyone for about twenty years!Writing is both a joy and hard work for me. It doesn’t come easy but now I’ve come to really enjoy sharing what I write. It’s satisfying to have someone read a piece and be touched by it. They don’t have to like it, it’s just enough for them to feel something when they read it.
I’ve written for about forty years now and only recently begun to call myself a “writer”. That was a mistake but a good lesson learned. Just writing something doesn’t make a person a writer. Everyone has had school assignments to write a poem or story. Most of us have been given the assignment to write an essay about “what I did over summer vacation”. Those can all be great introductions to writing, but it’s when you write something because you WANT to or feel a NEED to that you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if it happens when you’re 5 years old or 50 years old. A writer is the person who goes back and does it again…and again…and again. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a poem, a diary, a short story or a novel. So now when people ask, I say I’ve been a writer since I was a young girl!To me, the beauty of writing is being able to take any subject and make it my own. Whenever I feel self-doubt about whether my writing is “good enough”, I think of the two most influential people in my life, my mom and my husband, Steve. Steve’s been my biggest supporter and one of his favorite mantras comes from Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try”. Many years ago, my mom gave me a plaque with a quote by Henry Van Dyke that reads: “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” So that is what helps keep me going – first, to just do it. And second, to believe that I have talent within myself. And I found out that’s enough!
Writing prompt:Who encourages your writing? Do you encourage yourself? We all have talent. Find your song, your talent, by listening to that voice in your head, or that feeling in your heart. Write about it. Don’t worry if anyone will like it or not. Don’t worry about whether you want to share it or not. It’s enough that you want to write about it. Do it. Do it today. Do it for yourself.
About the Author:Amy Morgan lives on Grand Island, a pork chop shaped island in the middle of the mighty Niagara River, about 10 miles north of Niagara Falls with her husband, Steve. Around her non-writing full time day job she writes and follows two other passions, reading and cooking. Her blog, My Writing Corner, is a place to share some of her writing and her writing process as well. You can check out her published pieces and some of her favorite writing resources on her website, Amy Writes. Her work has appeared online and in local venues as well as being a contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul, finding my faith and a feature story for Cats & Kittens magazine.
Links:Amy Writes website