The Writers Voice
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Twenty Something - On Writing
Crystal J. Stranaghan
I've been doing a little housekeeping lately. Not the kind that requires you get
down on hands and knees and battle the resident dust colonies singlehandedly. I
believe that dust has just as much right to a home as the rest of us...
I mean housekeeping in my computer. Brushing the dust of the old files, and
peeking into the brain of the girl who used to be me. It's kind of like reading
your diaries from 6 th grade.
I have resurrected a project that I haven't worked on seriously for a while, and
was looking for a bio that I might have on file as a base for a current one. I
discovered one I had written for a writing submission about five years ago, and
as I read it I actually found myself laughing out loud. Not in a bad way - it's
just that I obviously wholeheartedly believed what I was writing at the time and
now I just as wholeheartedly disagree with about 95 percent of what I was
Interestingly, there was only one consistent detail between what I wrote then
and what I would write now (not including my name of course!), and that was my
very real desire to be a writer. Or how did I put it exactly; my goal was “to
lose the “aspiring” and be simply "a writer”!”
It was that phrase that got me wondering.
It is an interesting tendency we have, to discount our efforts in this area
(writing) unless they yield financial gain. I'm pretty sure that's what I meant
at the time – that I would qualify as a “real” writer when my work brought in
some money and therefore validated its existence and the time and energy I have
put into it. Apparently I didn't feel the ten dollars I won in a poetry contest
when I was in grade nine really counted!
In the past five years I have revised my definition as to what constitutes a
First and foremost, if you are writing at all, and feel this is important enough
to include in a list of the things that are important to you and help make up
your character – then you may call yourself a writer.
(Published authorship is a whole different ballgame...but I'll get into that
Secondly, if people are reading what you are writing – then you are successful.
Even if it's only one person...because isn't the purpose of writing anything to
communicate that idea or image or sentiment to another person? Why else could
you possibly need to write it down? If you have successfully communicated that
idea to anyone, then you have succeeded in your purpose.
T o all you fellow writers out there congrats on having the courage to share
Crystal J. Stranaghan © 2006
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