Can Anyone Write? Part 1

By LindaAdamsVA, Flickr WANA Commons

By LindaAdamsVA, Flickr WANA Commons

I love this image. I’m betting I’m not the only one who can SO relate. I tried to think humble thoughts when I started writing my first masterpiece book. Really, I did. But it was hard not to envision myself becoming the surprise bestseller of the year, LOL! Hey, it could happen, right? Wrong. It took six books and five years of hard work before I landed my first contract.

Yeah, so I’m not the overnight success I hoped I would become when I wrote book no. 1. But I’ve found a teensy bit of success, and that success makes me happy! YAY! It also makes me think. Can anyone do what I did? Start with essentially no writing experience, a barely registering affection for reading, and lots of foolhardy determination and work their way onto an Amazon best seller list? Or did I just get super lucky?

Can anyone write?

I asked myself this question, and immediately realized how complicated it was. The answer would depend on so many things. Heck, the question itself could be taken to mean many different things, including:

  • Can anyone write great fiction?
  • Can anyone become a bestseller?
  • Can anyone become published?
  • Can anyone learn how to become a writer?
  • …and a hundred (or a thousand) more

How’s this for a question: Can anyone write to entertain themselves?

When I was newly married, I struggled with intimacy. One of the things that helped me was writing my own erotic stories. I had not studied the craft of writing. I had never read an erotic story, a few romances, yes, but mostly, I was a TV addict and eschewed books at that time because they didn’t hold my attention.

So it seemed odd that I would turn to literature as a form of self-therapy. Why did I choose to write at all let alone choose to write stories featuring lusty girls wondering whether they should wear panties or not as they got dressed for a frat party or a date with a cute guy (did I mention I got married young, LOL?)?

The answer is, gosh, I don’t really know. Maybe it’s that I had been raised in a Christian atmosphere and was misled to believe sexuality was dirty or unpropper or that I was those things for wanting more out of my sex life than I was getting. I didn’t want to look at porn, because I KNEW that was wrong (wasn’t it?). It was kind of a moot point, because I didn’t need to look at porn, not when I had scenes and fantasies ready to play out in my head. There were voices in my head telling me that was wrong too, but it was oh so hard to believe that when those images were so handy and beautiful and when they made me desire my husband. This is a whole other topic that I won’t get into here.

The point is, when I put those fantasy scenes down in writing, they became erotic stories that accomplished a couple of things for me.

  1. They gave me an outlet for my creativity. I’ve always loved creating. Whether my hobby be quilting, knitting, drawing, playing music, or now, writing, it seems I have a      compulsive need to BE creative in some form. Writing stories filled that need for me back then, and it still does today.
  2. Reading my own stories (and writing them) got me “in the mood” when nothing else could. Writing served a purpose. I found it useful and beneficial.

No one but me ever read what I wrote, but I was a successful writer. Why? Because my writing fulfilled the objectives I had set up for my writing.

So, yeah. Short Answer. I think anyone can write to entertain themselves. I did. I still do. In fact entertaining myself is my number one motivation for writing. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it.

What about you? Do you think anyone can write to entertain themselves? Do you write to entertain yourself? What are your objectives as a writer? If you’re not a writer, have you ever thought about writing your own story, just for your own amusement? I’d love to hear from you.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with: Can anyone write books and publish them?

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About Jessi Gage

Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries...you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she's sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). A career student (aka indecisive and inquisitive bookworm), Jessi brings her love of research to her worlds and characters. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good always trumps evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.
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7 Responses to Can Anyone Write? Part 1

  1. Mary Merrell says:

    Hi Jessi, I believe anyone can write to entertain themselves. I write because I love to, and I love my stories. If others like them too, that’s a huge plus. Although, since I put myself out there, I do try and think about my readers. And about your erotica stories in your head…they sure do work. I guess being a person who has stories in your head all the time, it seems perfectly normal. And you get a happy husband!

  2. Mae Clair says:

    Hi, Jessi. I do think most people can write to entertain themselves, but I also think most won’t. The idea of taking the time to actually write something down would be, well….time they could spend doing something else. I create stories, characters and scenes in my head frequently (maybe they do too ), that are little “what-if” blips. Those are fun and fanciful and rarely make it to the keyboard, unless I intend to flesh them out into a novel.

    Do I write to entertain myself? A resounding YES to that. Even when I am writing something for a broader audience, first and foremost, I’m writing something I would like to read. 🙂

  3. M.Q. Barber says:

    I think those are great reasons for writing, Jessi. I write for my own entertainment, too. The characters are like a show in my head; I just tune in and listen to them banter. Sometimes I tune to a different station and jot down those “what-if” blips Mae’s talking about. And the research perks aren’t bad. My hubby seems pretty happy with where my mind’s at most days. 😉

  4. Pingback: Can Anyone Write? Part 2 | Jessi Gage…A Time to Love

  5. Pingback: Can Anyone Write? Part 3 | Jessi Gage…A Time to Love

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