Are you a real writer or a wanna-be?

Last night we enjoyed our final concert of the school year.  The kindergarten class sang their hearts out to a packed auditorium. 

I am always amazed at the enthusiasm such young children possess.  They have shed their shyness from their preschool days and aren’t too old to be uncool yet.  They sing with unabashed pride and confidence.

When they make mistakes, they keep singing.  They simply pick up on the next line or the next song and don’t let the wrong note deter them from their goals.

We can learn a lot from the enthusiasm of these youngsters. 

Often, we write our first novel with the mentality of a child.  We write enthusiastically, letting our words fall to the paper.  When we are finished, we can’t wait to show it to the world. 

Novice writers often do.  They forget that even a simple song needs lots of practice and a dress rehearsal.  Instead of honing their skills and properly editing their work, they submit newly completed manuscripts to 100 agents, get a slew of rejections and, in a fit of frustration, age 40 years. 

They become writing curmudgeons.  They are disallusioned and embittered.  I see it on AQ.  I read it in the comments of blogs.  In college, I  was the recipient of a failed-writer’s anger via English 101.  Thanks prof.  

But what if these budding authors stayed young?  What then could they do?

Exactly what you are doing, I would guess.  They would sing with enthusiasm, make mistakes and tackle the next song.  They would practice a hundred times and never grow tired of their favorite words.  They would maintain the magical draw to writing that they felt while penning their first novel.

In short, they would be writers.

My wish for you today is to find your voice.  No matter what you do; practice, practice, practice.  And then sing with the enthusiasm of a kindergartener.

~cat

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20 responses to “Are you a real writer or a wanna-be?

  1. Kudos on such an insightful post and the well deserved kick in the pants that all writers need.

    Your analogy is brilliant.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  2. Cat, my blog party is in full swing! Come on over. (There’s a little surprise, too.) 🙂

  3. As long as I’m not writing like a kindergartner, I’m cool. ^_^ Thanks for the pep talk as always, Cat.

    • Barbara,

      So true. Although they can be pretty cool writers. My kindergartener came home from school last Friday with a book he made about catterpillars. They had to observe them as they changed into butterflies. His observation on one day, and I quote: “The caterpillars are bigr. They are longr. They poop.”

      Sometimes that enthusiasm and simplicity are the bomb!

  4. We just had our JKs and SKs sing at school this week. You’re so right – complete joy & fun! I would love to always have that – and not just in writing, but in everything.

    Awesome post!!

  5. A lovely post, and spot on. Thank you!

  6. As always, you are the Queen of the Analogy. This is a beautiful post Cate. I will try to always remember to sing like a kindergartner! It would be nice to approach life with that much awe and fascination. Great post.

  7. Great analogy, Cat. We do need to learn our craft, but we also need to keep that little kernal of fire that makes us want to write in the first place. Thanks for your call to arms!

  8. This is well-spoken! We all need a good kick in the butt to make us stick with it sometimes.

    Also, good luck with corralling your husband during sleep-walks… : )

    • BJ,

      It’s always easier to kick someone else’s behind than our own. I think that’s why a writing community is so important.

      As to DH’s sleep-walking, he just turned 40 on Saturday. Any chance that will slow him down? : )

  9. Lovely post, Cat! And I agree with Jemi – I want complete joy and fun in all of life, and not just the writing!

    • Belle,

      Like Jemi, I think you already do!

      And I whole-heartedly agree with you wonderful ladies. Why else are we here, but to enjoy ourselves in all our endeavors? Life is too short to sit back and watch it pass us by.

  10. Awesome. I wonder if there’s a way to keep the enthusiasm and also not deafen people with bad singing? 😀

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