By Nina Naylor, Guest Blogger
Nina (pronounced 9-uh) Naylor is a writer, poet, and essayist. She wrote her first poem at age 8. She is a member of Northern Colorado Writers and the Academy of American Poets. She has had poems, essays and articles published in organizational publications. Nina was able to take early retirement and has been focusing on her writing dream. She is currently working on a poetry book, a book of prayers, and a memoir. The subject of her first poem? A dancing pig!
Start Writing Now Before It’s Too Late! Don’t wait to fulfill your dreams of being a writer! Don’t lose the moment – thought – story, poem, novel, memoir – to the abyss. You’d never forgive yourself. Don’t blame others for you not taking that first step . . .
Explore Your Reasons
What inspires you to write? Whatever burns deep in your belly, your heart, or your pocketbook, embrace. If it’s to be famous, heard, entertained, or make money – great! A sense of accomplishment fulfills the soul.
For me, I LOVE books. I grew up with my parents reading to me or reading on my own. The excitement of picking out the one particular book from the Scholastic form in school. Books passed down from generations lined the many bookshelves in my home. Books were a given.
Books represent adventure, knowledge, or showing me a way to understand. They supply joy, lessons, and a form of expressing inner qualities I can’t put into words…to escape everyday life.
My parents wrote, my dad for job, pleasure, and recognition, my mom – to find her voice. My paternal grandfather’s letters contained lots of prose. It’s how we shared our news with friends and family. I recently went through old school papers and was surprised at how much my assignments centered around writing.
I grew up thinking everyone wrote.
This past year supplied the opportunity to get serious about my writing dream. I’ve learned it’s all about the journey. I’d like to be published, but I am content allowing myself to believe I am a writer – for now. Simple? No, not for most people, myself included.
Create an environment that encourages your motivation and supports your dream. In my home, two areas of inspiration sustain me – an analog space and a digital space. I learned this technique from Austin Kleon, “a writer who draws.”
My analog space begins with a chair in the living room facing my ottoman alter. I handwrite my morning pages and journal entries (thank you, Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way!). My digital space in my creative/art/craft room starts at my writing desk, where ideas come together on my computer. Use what you have. Make it your own. Therein lies the magic.
I need knowledge and support – I thrive on it. Learning from like-minded people who genuinely believe in my ability. Family and friends support us, but they don’t always understand our primal need to write. Or how to deal with writer’s block.
Join writing organizations like Northern Colorado Writers (NCW). But don’t just join, take part, engage, put yourself out there! Be brave and courageous because it’s within you!
Belief! Willingness is a powerful word. Capitalize on your opportunities.
Yes, you may be rejected, but it doesn’t mean you fail. It means you are submitting! Share your vulnerable self with the world through your writing. Think of gratitude for those victories of any size – especially the first ones – the small ones – the meaningful ones.
Find it. Shout out to Christina Trapani-Scott, NCW Newsletter Coordinator! Her feature article in the July NCW newsletter about believing she’s a writer encouraged me. Also, NCW sponsored the Creative Awakenings workshop with Todd Mitchell, author, and professor who reiterated if you write, you’re a writer. “Write I am a writer 50 times on a piece of paper, whiteboard, or computer screen. Keep it up until you believe it yourself.”
It’s all about the Process
The rhythm of how you achieve your goal lies with you. Define and create the environment YOU need – what works for you, not someone else. Be willing. After all, we’re all individuals. It’s not the IDEA of what should or ought to work for you – it’s what does.
When you experience blocks, step away.
What about the deadline? Go for a walk. Don’t sabotage yourself. Relax, focus on something else. Feed your emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. The words will come.
Nourish your body, and your mind will free the words – free yourself. Try some long-hand stream of conscious writing or physical exercise of any kind.
Get the noise out of your head! Release the negative chatter that clutters up your thinking, preventing you from coming from a rightful place within.
Primordial, Pelf or Pleasure
Doubts made me wonder if I could write this blog entry. I recently wrote my first guest post for Sarah Reichert’s blog: The Beautiful Stuff. It came quickly and in one sitting! For this one, I pushed past at least ten tangents.
I don’t know if it’s more complicated with deadlines, predefined topics, when it’s your job, for pay or satisfaction.
It doesn’t matter. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep finding your voice, muse, and imagination to keep the well of the world supplied with books.
There’s an adrenaline rush after I finish a creative project which I know hit the mark. An excitement courses through my veins. My pulse increases…my heart beats faster. I am on a high.
Appreciate your process, and others will enjoy it too. As my dear friend and biggest supporter told me, “You were born to do this.”