By Robert Eichelberg
I have a few things in my past that I am not particularly proud of. I suspect we all do in some way or another. Chalk it up to the recklessness of youth, naivet, idiocy, or apathy. In my case, perhaps it was all of the above. After all, when we are young, it is hard to find meaning and purpose in life.
Fortunately, as writers and artists, we don't have to beat ourselves up and drown in our regret. Our mistakes, errors, and regrets become part of our individual story. Everything that has happened to us and will happen to us, the good as well as the bad, is relevant to who we are. All that we see and do adds to the template of what we writers and poets can work with, even if not directly. It means that nothing in our lives is irrelevant: events, actions, feelings, and emotions. The same is true of sights, sounds, tastes, and textures.
It was the birth of my children that reminded me that from a child's eyes everything is fresh and new. Writing allows us to tap into that same sense of awe. If we allow it, that is. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to become distracted. At times, writing can seem like a chore. We may begin to listen to our inner critic, the bad one who says we're no good, instead of tuning into the helpful critic. The successful writer learns to battle such obstacles. The good news, I believe, is that it gets easier with practice.
Magazines such as
allow new writers a chance for their work to be read and appreciated. Take advantage and embrace such opportunities for the new writer. But I would advise against publication being your sole aim. Write because you love to write. Write because you have to write. Write because it's in your blood and in your soul. Approach reading with the same passion. Read with new, childlike eyes. Read to see what works and what doesn't. Read to learn about yourself and the world we live in. And do the same with your writing.
As we move along in our writing lives, it should become clear that writing is more that just putting words on paper. It is about sharing your thoughts and experiences with readers in a way that is unique. It is a timeless and intimate medium. For example, read
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
to enter Franklin's mind, experiencing his thoughts, as if you yourself were back in 1774. It is as if he is alive and talking directly to you, the reader. You can never get this kind of experience from a movie or television.
It is for this reason, and more, that I write. The nouns, verbs, adjectives, and metaphors, stories, and poems we need are all around us, waiting to become part of our writing. Go get them! Next time you see something as simple as a tree, realize it isn't just a tree. It is something to be looked at, taken in, and described. It has an aroma and texture. Listen to it as it interacts with the wind. Perhaps the tree is a metaphor or simile you can use somewhere in your work. The same can be said of everything around us. Look and listen and you will see that the possibilities are endless.
To a writer,
And that, my friends, is one great way to go through life.
Robert Eichelberg is a writer for Beginnings Magazine, A Magazine for the Novice writer, (
) You can reach Robert at 847-358-8901 or drop him an
Beginnings is published three times a year and is printed exclusively for the new writer. Only never before published or minimally published writers can submit to Beginnings.
Questions can be emailed to Jenine Killoran, Editor, Founder and Publisher of Beginnings Publishing, Inc., at: