The Secret to Writing

Now that I’ve gotten your attention I’m really hoping one of you will tell me what that secret is. I embarked on this writing journey just this year. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed. People have told me I’m even good at it. Disability hit, my social work career ended and here I sat.

So now what? I had a dream. Not like Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream but a nighttime dream. Mom and Dad were there. We were having dinner. I was whining about my jobless life and Mom said if I couldn’t go to work then I needed to bring work to me. Um, I’m pretty sure Muhammad was the one that went to the mountain, Mom, but okay we will try it your way. A feather was there in the form of a bookmark. I should mention that Mom and Dad have passed on and it’s said that feathers come from heaven to give you a message or tell you an angel is near.

I started a blog. I wrote a post about my dream. People liked it!! I worked my way around the site and realized my likes were tiny compared to everyone else. I wrote another post. More people liked it! I did this over and over again and then… I wrote a post and no one liked it. I continued to blog anyway. Posts were hit and miss. The material I really liked got nothing while mindless dribble got 20 likes in 10 minutes. What?!?!?

I needed to work on my writing. My friend sent me a writing course. I learned about developing characters. I decided to try some word games to help build my vocabulary. One particular game has a chat feature. I kept getting messages from older men and they were all the same: “hello, how are you doing? Where are you playing from? Are you single or married with kids? What do you do? Who do you live with? Can we chat on another app? I am not always here. Give me your email. Will you please send me a gift card?” I started recognizing the script after about 3 of these. I decided to have some fun. Each new message that came in, I was a new character. Each character was a little more ridiculous. I’ve been a horse trainer in Chicago, a mermaid from Atlantis, the first colonist of the moon (sorry no gift cards, Elvis closed Walmart early today) the wife of a hockey player (when one decided my ‘husband’ should feel threatened by him talking to me…. Just, no) the girlfriend of a serial killer who took out cyber stalkers and my personal favorite, a cat from hell. I don’t know if these activities improved my writing but I sure was entertained.

I turned to a story app. One where you can read other’s stories for free or write one yourself. I wrote a story. 138 people read it. The stories that appeared on the homepage had hundreds of thousands of readers. I have 138. I delved into those popular stories. What makes these stories so much better than mine? One writer had three stories listed. I read them all. They all had the same plot just different characters. Hundreds of thousands of views for the same story written over and over. I read another writer’s work. Her story was highly entertaining however at the end of each chapter there was an author’s note apologizing for how much the chapter sucked. What?!?! What is this nonsense? I posted comments on her note of how I enjoyed the story and she deserves more credit. The story continued and so did the notes. Another writer’s story spelled lose with two o’s…. Super pet peeve of mine. It also used the phrase “I seent it.” Hundreds of thousands of reads for this story too.

I wrote a book. I self published on amazon. 30 of my closest friends and family bought it. They loved it. I cringed knowing my middle school teacher, my aunt and my best friend’s mom were all reading the sex scenes I wrote but they voiced how proud they were. I created social media accounts with my pen name and posted daily about my books, followed other writers, interacted on their pages, etc. I was followed by animal pages since my name is “Cat” and a guy who declared he saw my pic and needed to get to know me as the “beautiful and cute damsel” I am. I do love animals and am happy to have them on my page however none of them are going to buy books.

I came here, to serious platform of writers. I read what writers have to say about writing. Some say write what you know, some say write for your audience, some say write for yourself. I found articles that say write and publish daily, articles that say write a few times a week. One said to call myself a writer because I write while my roommate says I’m not a writer because I’m not famous. Well, what does he know? I am a writer, that I am I do not like green eggs and ham! — okay that last part was Dr. Seuss.

I’ve gathered in my journey the secret to writing is there is no secret. What works for one flops for another. Through it all there is one consistency: write. Keep writing. That’s exactly what I plan to do.

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Author, animal lover, crafter, hockey fan

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Cat Writes

Cat Writes

Author, animal lover, crafter, hockey fan

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