Dear Workshop Members,
Yesterday we reached the magic number 10. Not counting myself, that leaves 9 aspiring writers. At least that’s been my assumption. Though you’ve been a quiet group! Which is fine of course. However, at some point some brave soul might consider sending me something. I don’t bite. I promise. I am I can assure all, a decent person with my fair share of empathy. My purpose in starting this substack is simply to try and help my fellow aspiring writers, and in doing so help myself.
A little about me. Like just about everyone who did well in English class, I had literary ambitions. I wanted to write novels, I wanted to write short stories, I wanted to write poetry. I wanted to write screenplays. I wanted to write speeches for some great future President. Mainly, I wanted to be famous.
But when I got into my 20’s I realized I had nothing to write about. Or at least I thought I didn’t. I’d sit down to write and maybe scratch out a couple of lines. But that was it. I felt I had no sense of direction while I wrote, and no sense of what I had to offer a reader. As I look back, I had no sense of identity as I tried to write. No sense of who I was as the teller of the story I had in mind.
As you might have gleaned from “Agonizing Grace,” I’m a recovering addict. That “ing” suffix is to remind the addict that his job is never done. I’ve had my slips. And I’ve had my share of pain and suffering, much of it self-inflicted. The good news is that's given me material to write about.
But we all suffer. We all make mistakes. We all wish to be better people. If we write about the things we suppose make us different, we’ll ultimately come to realize that suffering, and mistakes, and regrets, and painful memories are simply coin of the realm. Unless you’re a screaming psychopath or possess some other extreme affliction, there’s nothing you can write about yourself that people won’t be able to understand and empathize with.
So, I think I’ll end it there for the time being. I’d be thrilled if people can comment on this short post and give us all an idea as to where you are with regards to writing, and anything else you care to share about why you subscribed..
Thanking you very sincerely for subscribing,
What a welcoming place this is, full of light and truth and open-hearted goodness. In other words, all the things that the world is crying out for today. Best wishes to all, Carol
Thanks for the update, and for the extra information about your background. I studied in Canada back in the mid eighties; started off with a psychology major and English Lit minor, and ended up somehow with a Bachelor in Education....was not quite satisfied with that so travelled for a year in Europe, and then set off for the big city of TO to study design and fashion at Ryerson University. Worked in the design field for about a decade, and ended up back in Europe....it's been almost 30 years since I left Canada! I spent two fabulous years in New York before living in Munich, and now I call Switzerland home. Thank goodness I am not in Canada; I do not recognise it any more. I have felt rather free here in comparison. My passion is children's literature, and I do own a lot of picture books. I wrote my own story last year, and I'm working on the illustrations. I have not sent it to anyone, but have received some really nice feedback. After my daughter leaves the nest this August, I have lofty plans to do my Masters in English Lit with a focus on female roles in children's literature. I love to write, and also paint, but getting back to being active in these two areas has been slow going. I hope to change that when the focus is back on me, instead of my two children. It's always about the timing, right? Nice to be here, and looking forward to sharing with others. Thanks Al.