Thursday, June 28, 2012
Marching to Your Own Happy Beat
What do you do if you don't really have any reader/writer friends who get your writing?
Remember that "Sesame Street" song (and yes, I realize I could be dating myself here) that goes "one of these things is not like the other/One of these things just doesn't belong/Can you tell which thing is not like the others/By the time I finish my song?"
Well, even at a very young age, I resonated with those words because I often felt like that in my own family.
Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my family. Each and every member is really nothing short of fantastic, and I'm not just saying that because we share a bloodline. But sometimes I still couldn't help wondering if I was switched at birth or something because my interests, especially the artistic ones, were just so different from everyone else's in my family.
Not only did I love theater, impressionist art and presenting any baked good I made in a fancy schmanzy way (all things that made my Mom say, "I don't know where you came from" on occasion), but I devoured books like nobody's business, was constantly tinkering with and developing my "voice." Further cementing my "odd duck" status was being that weird person who enjoyed flipping through the dictionary in search of new words that I could incorporate into my stories.
And whenever I'd finish something new, whether it was a short story or a newspaper article for our school publications, I couldn't wait for my family to read it. Trouble is, they liked pretty much everything I wrote but I was never sure they actually "got" it.
The thing is, as writers, we can't help wanting affirmation, especially from the ones we love. After all, as much as we love writing, it can sometimes feel like a lonely endeavor and knowing that someone else digs what you're doing sometimes provides that added momentum. But at the end of the day, not everyone, even those we love the most, is going to resonate with what we write—or maybe he/she doesn't even have the capacity to.
That said, everybody's got a gut instinct. If you love to write, have a curiosity about the world and something to say, you simply have to trust that and march happily to your own beat. And I'm guessing somewhere along the way, you'll find that person who "gets" what you—and what you're writing. For me, that was fulfilled at the ripe ol' age of 28 when I met my husband Will, a fellow writer with a voice that's totally his own, too.
In the meantime, you've always got a slew of perfect forums to test out your voice as you continue to move forward on your work in progress. With your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and whatever other social networking mediums are hip at the moment, you can give people a sense of what makes you tick and build your audience, too.
Sounds like a win-win, right?