Now that I am done with school, finally done writing pages upon pages of projects and papers, I decided for my May goals to focus on…writing.
Ever since I was very young, I have loved to write. The first “book” I wrote was called Best Friends, and it was all about the adventures of me and two of my friends. It had seven or eight chapters, each a full piece of notebook paper. I made a cover for it and drew illustrations and felt like a real author. After that, I continued to write story after story, usually about happy families and everyday adventures they had. As I got older my characters grew slightly more complex, and the stories had slightly higher stakes, and the chapter length got longer than a page of wide-ruled notebook paper.
Then, when I was fifteen, I stopped abruptly. I had been working diligently on a new story about a girl named Hannah and her life on a farm with her family. I had it all planned out, how I would create exciting twists to the story and develop the characters of her parents and siblings. I let someone close to me read the first chapter or two, and they lovingly gave me constructive criticism. The characters were too perfect. They needed realistic flaws. The story needed bigger stakes and a more interesting plot line.
I should have taken this criticism and used it to shape the story into something better and more believable, but instead, I just stopped writing.
Of course, I did not stop completely, because I love to write. I continued to journal faithfully every day, and I wrote countless letters to family and friends. I would think up story ideas in my head, maybe even writing down the bare ideas, but I wouldn’t put my pen to paper to write anymore.
I also continued to write for school, of course. English was always my favorite subject, and I loved choosing my words and watching an essay take shape on my paper (or on the computer screen as I shifted more to typing instead of longhand writing). I began college pursuing a degree in elementary education, but after a fantastic experience with my teacher in English Composition II, I changed my major to English so I could keep on reading and writing papers about the literature other authors had crafted so beautifully.
As I have taken courses and written my way through my degree in English my love for writing has grown, and my goals have expanded. I love writing for this blog, and I dream of improving and using it to help others through my experiences and ideas. I dream of writing a memoir of my experiences as a missionary in Romania for a year, mostly for myself, but also for others if it could help them. I dream of writing fiction for young adults with characters and messages that will help them become better people. I dream of writing poetry. I dream of writing for the glory of God.
So I chose to focus on writing in May because I no longer have to worry about deadlines and specific topics of papers for school, but I can write whatever I want. Some of my goals for this month include:
- working on my Romania memoir (I have already written about 10,000 words since I left Romania, but I haven’t been able to focus or be consistent.)
- experimenting with writing more poetry (again, I have been writing poetry for a while, though nothing worthy of sharing publicly, but I want to be more consistent.)
- reading books on writing, such as Your Life as a Story by Tristine Rainer, Writing About Your Life by William Zinsser, and The Practice of Poetry by Robin Behn, among others.
What are your goals for May?