Friday, 16 November 2007

Six Thoughts

I have been tagged again, this time by mandi. Since I have already posted 100 thigs about myself and done the liar tag, I couldn't think of anything new to tell you. But then I decided to focus the six things all about writing.

Here's how you play...

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I wrote my first book when I was 9 years old. It was a book of poetry that my mother sent to my great grandmother, "Gammy" for Christmas. When Gammy received it she called and told me just how much she loved it and said she hoped I would always write. Writing a book was one of my childhood dreams, but that was the first time I thought I might really be able to do it. From this I learned to always encourage children in their dreams. You have no idea when you might say something that will give them the courage to do something great.

2.In high school, my English teacher hated my writing. He marked very little wrong in my grammar and spelling, but he didn't usually agree with my opinion in the essays and would often give me a low mark. He is the only teacher I ever got into an argument with - I can't even remember if I won - he basically told me not to bother writing anything. By the time I got to college, I wrote a little poetry for myself, but didn't share anything with anyone except my brother. I had to take a basic composition class in college and the teacher used to ask me if he could keep copies of my assignments to read to other classes because they demonstrated good writing. I got an A in that class. From this I learned, even though someone might be in a position of authority, that doesn't make them right. It's always good to get a second opinion and more importantly to believe in yourself no matter what others may say.

3. Once I got married and started having children, I wrote less and less. There wasn't much time, my first husband didn't support me, and it seemed like I needed to spend most of my time being a wife and a mother. Once my aunt asked me if I could write an essay about my grandmother as a companion piece to an essay about my grandfather I did in college. It was the hardest thing I ever wrote and I never was happy with it. I determined at that point that I had lost the talent. From there I put it away for a few more years. From this I learned that writing needs to be done all the time. It is a skill and needs to be honed and polished.

4. When my children were still young I wrote them a story. I worked on it, polished it and sent it off. This resulted in my first rejection letter. I still have the story and the letter. From this I learned that the stories we write will never go anywhere if we only send them off once, and we can't start the mandatory collection of rejections if the editors never see our work. I guess I need to pull the story out again and work on some more rejection letters.

5. I took and successfully completed the course "Writing for Publication" from the Long Ridge Writer's Group. In the back of my mind I still held the dream to write a book. I took the course as a way to get myself back into the practice of writing. It helped to have deadlines, expectations, and the positive feedback boosted my confidence and gave me the courage to move forward. I
read many writing books and also attended the LDStorymakers conference for the first time last year. From this I learned that one can never stop learning and growing. I can always add to my skills by being willing to study and try new things.

6. Several years ago I worked for our local newspaper. I usually wrote articles on things that were going on around town. I found this extremely difficult because I much prefer fiction. Often I would say to the editor, in jest of course, "Don't you think this story would be so much more interesting if I embellished it with this detail or that." I never did embellish but they did choose to print one of my short stories and a personal essay. From this I learned that all writing experience is good. And even though I still don't like writing newspaper articles, I learned I can do it and do it well.

So there are my six things. I'm not actually going to tag anyone, because I think people are tired of being tagged by me. But if you would like to take on this challenge, feel free, and let me know so I can read the six things you think of.


Ajoy said...

You simply amaze me Stephanie. To me, your a wonderful inspiration. Thank you.

Yes, I agree...tagging can be tiring. But I love reading about people as they are practically forced out of their shells. I'll give it a stab and share six things about me.

Also- you may want to check out my blog because I was talking about you! ;D I came up with some interesting and silly pen names for you and Don. :)

A. Riley said...

I also knew I wanted to write at a young age. I remember in 4th grade having to do creative writing exercises. That was my favorite part of the day. I still have that notebook.

I had a creative writing class in High School also, that my teacher gave me a note basically saying "show, don't tell". He also wrote some stuff that I felt was pretty inspirational. This is my words not his, but stuff about not having generic characters and generic problems. That I needed to really make them stand out. I kept that note and have in it my memory book.

I also have my first rejection from when I submitted a manuscript when I was 19. It was my goal to have it turned in by then, and I made it. I also have that in my memory book. :)

Stephanie Humphreys said...

It surprises me to be an inspiration to anybody. Thanks.

I need to save a few more of my rejection letters. Some things I have submitted digitally and the rejections come through email. Then I delete them. Now I wish I would have printed them out and put them with the others.

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