Write your story

healing_writingLast week I was talking about the ‘not so fun’ parts of writing. But that when it boils down to it, we keep at it because it’s something we feel we have to. And I came across an article from Time magazine last year that drives that home. In it, they talk about studies that show that not only can writing help people deal with psychological stresses, but with physical ones as well!

And it got me thinking about what got me started writing in the first place. My first book was An Elk in the House, literally about the elk we had in our house, Butter. I’d never even thought about writing a book before this, but there was something about Butter’s impact on our lives, and the whole experience that made me realize, I have a story to tell.

In fact, most people have a story inside them waiting to come out. Sure, not every story is meant to be broadcast to millions. In fact, as the article points out, sometimes it’s not even meant to be told to another person. But the very act of telling your story, even if it’s only for an audience of one, can be life-changing.

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Writing and writing ‘til ya can’t write no more!

I came across an inspiring article today for all those writers out there who came to their craft later in life, as I did.

As the article points out, writing can be a tough slog. It’s emotionally draining, and it’s physically draining when you don’t have the luxury of being able to live off your writing (the reality for most writers). So it’s always great seeing all the amazing writers who are still churning out wonderful books well into their 80s and 90s! Gone are the days where writers would “fade out by the time they were 70.”

I only started writing in 2000, inspired by a beautiful baby elk, named Butter. I credit that lovely creature with awakening in me a passion that had been dormant for most of my life. Once I started writing, I found I couldn’t stop! And I think that’s what it really all boils down to. If you’re willing to commit your time and energy to what can be an incredibly thankless task, day in and day out, then odds are you’re not going to want to stop—even as the years roll on! And I think this other author summed it up perfectly:

“You can’t stop writing,” says Salter, who notes that Roth is reportedly in active correspondence with his biographer, Blake Bailey. “Even if you say you’re not writing books anymore, you’re making notes, perhaps writing in your journal. I dare say, even when you feel, ‘Christ, I can’t do it anymore,’ you’re still observing life and taking things in. You’re thinking, ‘I’d love to write that story. I wonder how I’d do it?'”

Like I’ve said before, writers write. And a few more grey hairs can’t change that!