Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Life as a Writer

What is your life as a writer like? Do you write for work and or pleasure? What kind of things to you have to write as an adult? When you do write is it texting, computer, paper, journal or other?

--by Laurie Fowler, writer

I have truly enjoyed this blog challenge because I love to write but do not often have the discipline to do on a regular basis. A weekly post about a topic that is fairly easy to write about is doable for me at the moment even in the midst of the winding down of the semester. I have enjoyed not only responding to the prompts, but also reading others’ writing and having them read mine. I crave an audience and haven’t been able to attract one that will comment on my posts on my blog, Fresh Fowlers, until now. After each post in this challenge, someone else in the challenge has commented on my post. I get so excited when I see a comment has been left and even more when I read it.

I know it’s silly, but an audience is so important for a writer; in fact, as important as it is for any other type of artist or performer. I first found this to be true when I wrote a story that dealt with my parent’s divorce and realized I was the audience that needed to read it. I grieved deeply and wept many tears as I wrote that piece in AP English, but it was also cathartic for me to put that scene on paper to help make sense of it. As my teacher put it, “Fowler, your writing always seems to spread weeps.” And so I did not share that piece with anyone outside of my AP class for a long time.

On to more mundane days in my life as a writer. . . I do use writing a great deal in my work as an assistant professor in a College of Education. I write in mostly email format to answer questions from students. They have questions about things because they don’t read the things I write, ironically. I also have written and edited a journal article this year, a grant proposal, several presentation proposals, a blog post for our UWA Online site, and even rewritten the Technology and Education course that I teach. These forms of academic writing don’t excite me much, but I haven’t seen an article in print yet or won a grant for UWA so maybe my excitement will grow if one of those things happens.

I also write quite a bit on my Facebook page and I chat with friends and family. I am still trying to get the hang of Twitter, but I use Plurk lots. I need to be a better commenter on the many blogs I get in my Google Reader daily. Maybe after this challenge is over, I can use the holidays to become a better blog commenter. Hmmm, need to give that some more thought. Maybe others would join me.

I see that most of my writing now is online or digital in some form or fashion, but in our storage unit, you will find boxes of my things from my youth and childhood with journals in my handwriting about the growing up, dealing with parents who divorce, being the oldest, cherishing holidays, the joy of falling in love, the pain of falling out of love, understanding parents have faults, dealing with my own faults, supporting friends, and disappointing friends. And it’s all in tattered, fake denim covered binders with my initials scribbled on them or on loose pieces of notebook paper in a rainbow of inks crammed in a pretty, store bought journal or on the pages of a composition book with a black marbled cover. And when I reflect on my life as a writer, I see the writer I was and how all of those experiences and journals have made me the writer I am and how all the new digital tools I have my at my fingertips now will make me into the writer I will become.


Anonymous said...

The format is not important. The words that flow from your heart and your brain to either a computer screen or a piece of paper or a smart phone text are what matter.
You must have an audience. It is possible, I think, to write just for yourself on some topics at some times.
But, writers need the audience for the feedback you get. My first story in a newspaper was widely commented on by family, friends at UGA and a few others. I will always remember looking at that byline and thinking that 10,000 copies of that story were going out with my name on it.
Heady stuff.
Keep it up. And keep reminding me to find the blog.
Love you and your writing.

loonyhiker said...

I think you are a wonderful writer although I may not comment enough. Your blog is in my Google Reader and I always look forward to a new post by you. I also think that teacher should have encouraged you to share your writing instead of making you feel bad about it. If your writing causes others to feel some sort of emotion, then I think you should feel that you did a great job. I think my writing should make others think and feel something (or it is too boring to read.) Thank you for writing such a thought provoking blog post!

loonyhiker said...

I couldn't resist writing a blog post about this!

Sioux said...

Laurie---Only a gifted writer can move the reader to laughter, to tears, to a shift in thinking, to introspection.

Years ago, my mother complained about John Grisham's book "The Chamber." She said she hated it, becaused the book made her sympathize with a KKK member. I laughed, and told her, "But Mom, that is what good writers do!" (I'm not saying Grisham is a great writer, but...)

You are so right. As writers, we do crave an audience. (I too get excited when someone makes a comment on my blog. It's proof that someone--somewhere--is reading my words.) And writing can heal us in many ways.

Keep writing. The field of education needs passionate writers.

Melanie Holtsman said...

I love your writing style. I hope the challenge encourages you to write more often because you are so good at it!