We are all storytellers, but if we are first storytellers,
and second humans, we run the risk of manipulating
our lives to create a story, rather than living out
our lives and sharing where we’ve been.
Darrell Vesterfelt (Unblogger)[i]
The first time someone mentioned I was a “writer” it really made me feel very strange. I never imagined I would be called “writer”. It has been over three years I started blogging for the fun, for myself, mostly because I love writing.
Nevertheless the idea of writing was persistent to the point it haunted my thoughts before I got myself into putting words about stories, these real life stories that happened to me.
From simple events to observations, taking advantage of every day’s commuting to work back and forth, interacting with coworkers in my field, and much more.
I rarely worried about finding a topic to write about. Life is such an amazing place where every second has its own story. My preoccupation being instead answering that essential question of how true my story was, and what it related to things I have lived for real.
I must admit I was very new to the world of digital writing. Most of my teachers during the various courses I attended wrote papers, some had their own blogs, and a few wrote and published books. It seemed to me the bar was too high to consider such activity.
Among the few researches I made, I purchased a book about blogging, it was “the” trigger for my very first paper. A paper I wrote but never published. That book “Unblogger” by Darrell Vesterfelt spoke of why people would blog or write a book. A very different approach from the lot of many other authors, Darrell spoke about real life events, such events becoming stories he wrote and shared with his audience.. “Unblogger” sparked this entire adventure that has being ongoing since 2011.
One of the most challenging matter I was confronted to: deciding in which language I would like to write.
Living in a bilingual speaking country, I wished to share my papers with both French and English natives. After a couple of articles in French, someone asked me if I would not start writing in English as well. To my worries about syntax and good writing style, a friend, who is an experienced writer and published author shared her own challenges about writing skills. She said, I remember “Write no matter what! We all do mistakes! You will never know how good or bad it is unless you write and publish your first paper” she then added, “Remember, if your subject is captivating, readers will be tolerant towards your writing” So I did, I did write and I did publish my first paper in English, it was read by 50 people, a couple of positive comments, I had all what it took to go on.
The main difficulty I was facing, and still it is, that regardless of the language I speak and know enough well, my grammatical and writing structure remained French. What a nightmare it felt when rereading myself to find a French translated text. It lost the entire essence of the meaning. I knew it would confuse readers more than ever.
Back to square one! That is when ones regrets for not paying attention to the English teacher who provided all creative efforts to teach me grammar and syntax. Bless you Mrs. Daphne ! You were so patient with me, I owe you so much, even if I was always late submitting my assignment or being late in your class. I owe you for those little tips you wrote on the margin of my papers (filled with red ink), they taught me a lot, yes, I kept these very preciously since, on a file !
We all need to write, we all need to keep our memory alive. That is what writers do, aren’t they? Writing is first to indulge yourself, have fun. Fame and success can wait, but feeling good about yourself is of essence.
One of the movies & the books that influenced my passion for reading (and after for writing) is definitely Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. How powerful is a book, how more powerful is a writer!
In today’s world we do not write any more, we keep ourselves busy in creating “How to” guidelines and users manuals. If kids learn to read at school it is more to read these guides rather than unleash their imagination, the imagination through writing!
Until our next chat.
[i] Unblogger: Discovering the power of story in a how to world