Life is about balance. Family and work, work and play, play and productivity. It’s not always easy keeping everything in balance, but I do the best I can. However, I’ve come to realize that my balance between creative writing and structured writing is rather off.
I employ my abilities as a creative writer every day in my work. I don’t use it to the same degree as when I wrote fantasy, but it is my creativity that gives my writing character, uniqueness, and personality. I always try to approach my work assignments from various angles and gather enough information to write from an angle no one has used before. This is vital for making blog posts, landing pages, and product descriptions stand out in such a saturated business. I don’t think I’d be nearly as good at my freelance writing work if not for my background as a fantasy fiction writer.
Nonetheless, that fantasy fiction writer has become lost as I pursue a successful writing career. Rather ironic considering that I expected my successful writing career to come from publishing my novels. Further proof that life is about balance and life is also about change. Being able to adapt to and utilize that change is one of my strengths and I’ve learned to always stay on my toes.
Last week I started my latest term at SNHU online with Intro to Creative Writing. I’d been looking forward to the class since I started at SNHU last August and I felt it would be a welcome change after getting the two required Composition classes out of the way. Much to my surprise, I was better at the composition classes than I’d expected and though I found the structured format of essays a challenge at first, I quickly realized that it fit right in with my job as a freelance writer. I honestly believe that my skills as a freelance writer have greatly improved thanks to those first two classes and I have great hope that the Intro to Creative Writing class will help me rediscover the more creative and “freer” side of my writing.
There are three required books for my current class and they all focus on learning to become a creative writer and/or building on the creative writing skills a person already possesses. Out of curiosity, I flipped through the books and what I saw about poetry, short stories, and other expressive writing mediums filled me with self-doubt.
Thankfully, when I opened the book entitled “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg, it flipped to the spot where the publisher’s catalogue card had been randomly stuck. It was right on the section called “Go Further” and from the first few lines, I found great motivation. It reads, “Push yourself beyond when you think you are done with what you have to say. Go a little further. Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning.”
Those words hold true for so much more than writing! There have been so many times in my life when I almost thought I was done, when I couldn’t go any further, when I didn’t think I could handle one more awful thing the world threw at me. Yet I kept going. A little further turned into a lot further and that turned into continuing on the journey of life and discovering the amazing things that were waiting around the corner, once hidden from my view. I never would have experienced so many wondrous things if I’d given up when things became challenging.
I won’t give up now either. I will discover the keys to balancing the writer within and I will learn how my freelance writer self and my fantasy writer self can coexist within the indomitable creature that is me.