It seems so obvious, and frankly, it is a piece of advice that everyone loves to share with writers: “Write what you know.” It just isn’t quite that simple. There are things you know – and then there are things you know – the gut-wrenching realities that no one wants to truly admit. I’m beginning to see the difference. For me, that is passion. There has to be a lot of enthusiasm behind whatever it is that I’m sharing if it is going to be any good. I have to love what I am about to write.
Early last week, I found myself writing an article outlining different tips for writers regarding their reading lives. In short order, I had nearly 2,000 words. It is something I know and perfected over the years. I take reading seriously. It simply amazes me how I tend to have almost too much content when I write about certain subjects. If it involves reading, books, music, or education, I could keep going for hours.
Why, then, haven’t I been focusing on just those topics all these long years? The simple answer is I don’t know. The full answer is a bit more complex. WIth music, copyright laws surrounding song lyrics are tricky. I needed to come up with a unique way of sharing the music I love. I think I may have finally accomplished that. When it comes to books and reading, I spend so much time reading and discussing books in person that it seems silly to write about it much, book reviews aside. In essence, I need to get over myself.
Then there is education. As at least a 5th generation teacher (yes, I’ve traced the teaching tradition in my family back at least that far), I have definite opinions and insight – far more than my actual experience in the classroom would suggest. I have to be extremely careful. Sometimes when a writer is a little too close to the subject, it is easy to get burned. In private conversations, I’m content to know that I am not alone. One day, once I’ve made some definitive decisions regarding my teaching career, it is going to get interesting.
It may have taken me quite some time to find my voice, niche, and style, but I am just getting started. In spite of the fact that I am 42 and a certain TV “personality” – I refuse to use his name here or mention the network – stated that women reach their peak in their 20s-40s, declining once they hit 50, I have so much more to accomplish that it isn’t even funny. It will take me well beyond 50. Stay tuned!
Beautifully expressed Lindsey…
Don Lemon was just getting back at the Nicki Haley who declared her run for the presidency and put down older people who still had political careers (listen to her campaign declaration), but she failed to notice that THEY STILL HAD POLITICAL CAREERS way past what is considered their prime, so she really got herself into a quandary about peoples ages and what they are still capable of…and she came across as age-“ist”…and Lemon was pushing back at her by saying that common convention labels women being in their prime at “X” age, and Haley isn’t “X” age any more…but my interpretation of Lemons statement wasn’t that he actually believed the common conventional idea about when women are in their prime, but merely that Haley shouldn’t have brought her misguided idea about age into her campaign because in her own way of thinking, SHE is past her prime.
So having said all that…you, Lindsey, have a lifetime of exploration that you can do with your writing, and frankly, I don’t believe there is a “prime” in anyone’s life when it comes to writing.
Just keep bleeding. And even though women may stop bleeding after menopause, ya know, past their prime, they still have plenty of blood pumping through their veins to spill out onto the page.
I want the guy’s name! What a jerk!
Loved this. Other than the music, I am very similar to you in passion for topics. Although I have let the education passion though; I have a lot of opinions though…….some outdated, some not!