Write. Write something.

In the crossword puzzle documentary Wordplay (2006), Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls says that solving crossword puzzles has taught her that her creativity is limitless. She says: "[Solving crosswords] gives me a sense of faith that writer's block is not really real." You start with what you know, even if it's next to nothing, and as you continue to work at it, more pieces come together, until it's solved!

Sometimes, I am working on so many stories I can't keep track. Like right now, I'm working on over 10 writing projects. Possibly over 15.  (see, I can't keep track!) Sometimes I think I won't be able to finish them all, that there's no way I have enough creativity to write more. But then I do. And it turns out, Amy Ray is right: I have unlimited creativity. Just sometimes, it takes a bit longer to get to it!

As a former teacher and someone who works in a school, I hear a lot of people say "I can't write." But I have a theory about that. I think that because English is most often the person's native language, that person thinks writing should come more naturally to them, that it should be easier.

I have to laugh when I hear about people who write something in one draft and don't make any changes. I don't laugh out of malice, but just out of disbelief. My first draft of anything is laughable! It takes persistence to want to communicate clearly while being artistic.

Admittedly, writing comes easier to some people. And certainly, for some people it may be natural talent. In my case, I think I can write because I practised hard, all my life. I always kept a diary when I was little. My first entry was when I was seven years old, in an Anne of Green Gables diary! "Dear Anne," each entry began. And then I would pour my angsty heart out, unafraid of the consequences. Truly, that is how I learned to write.

My message today is simple (So simple, I stated it in the title. If you read the title and still read this, thanks! I appreciate that!): WRITE. Write SOMETHING. (write ANYTHING, I should also have said.)

If you want to be a writer, you've got to practise. You've got to "make mistakes;" you've got to take risks; you've got to learn to love solving the word puzzle, love putting the words in the right order with the right punctuation (more on punctuation another day!).

Caribou Creative