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"Write What You Know"-Thoughts on Writing

Anne is a freelancer with a passion for writing and helping others by writing about important topics and issues.

What Is Your Story?

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"Write What You Know"

The term "write what you know", is a phrase often repeated over and over again by high school English teachers, college writing professors, and authors alike. What does it really mean to write what you know? What does that encompass? I think it means that what you feel that what you are, that what is right in front of you, is enough inspiration and truth to create something beautiful. You don't need to create a fantasy world with fantastical creatures. What we have right here, right now, in this life, is something worth writing about. I've always been one for realistic fiction and non-fiction. Things that we as human beings can connect with. This is not to say that there isn't plenty of fantasy out there that still helps us connect with the human experience of emotions, love, life and loss. It is simply saying that "write what you know" is the act of identify and writing about your own experience, your own thoughts, and your own world; being brave enough to say the things that you know. That's the biggest challenge for a writer. The following writing is my reflection on that; on the phrase "write what you know". I don't know if this is prose, or poetry, but it is a reflection of how I feel, and maybe you will connect with it in some way that inspires you, too.

What I Know

I know that I am a writer.

I know that writing is my escape and my best friend.

I know that in tough times, I can rely on paper and pen to set me free.

I know that I have been through hardships and struggles.

I know that those struggles make me the person I am today.

I know that no matter how many times I feel like I'm falling, I can pick myself back up again.

I know that I am a strong person, a leader, and a mentor.

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I know that one classroom full of students instilled a love of teaching in me.

I know my goal is to make writers out of those who don't believe they can.

I know that my student writers are my faith in this world.

I know that they can be anything they want to be.

I know that this is my story, and I want to tell the world.

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Write From The Heart

Every great writer will say that good writing is that which stirs the soul; that which brings an awakening in its readers. Good writing takes time and effort and care. Most of all, it takes heart, and lots of courage, lots and lots of courage. The courageous writer is not the one who spends their entire life in a fantasy world, but rather the one that takes what's inside of them and opens it up for all the world to see. The writer, stripped of every fancy word, is the most beautiful thing in the world, for it is often when we are in this place, vulnerable to our readers, that we feel the most at peace. When everything is out in the open, it can seem scary at first, but we become brave, stronger, and after all, writing is a form of intimacy that simply can't compare to anything else in the world. So, we must speak the truth.

We must speak the truth and believe that somewhere out there, someone is listening and understanding. Our words become a symbol of freedom in which our voices are heard, and our souls are set free. Our voices sing out from the rooftops and the trees, our voices blow in the wind. We speak to you, reader; we want you to hear of our triumphs and sorrows. We want you to believe that by this simple act, we have awakened your heart and that line by line, we can make a difference. Somewhere beyond these pages is an avid reader, listening. Somewhere beyond these pages, a writer is born.

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The Mind of a Writer

I can't stop. The moment my pen hits the table, I can feel the words rising up within me again. The thoughts race and circle back and forth through my brain as quickly as you have read this sentence. The fuzzy haze in my mind becomes crystal clear, flowing through the ink of the pen and out onto the page. The creative mind has this dilemma; that we must create in order to live, and if we ever stop creating, we die a slow and miserable death. Writer's block is an agonizing disease that plagues me several times a month. My only cure is to sit down and write anything and everything. Every feeling, memory, or story that I can think of. It all comes racing out of me like clockwork, until my hand cramps up and my fingers are black, and I feel like I can't go on any longer. But I can't stop. I can't stop because if I gave up that easy, I would be a coward. To give up that easy would be a disgrace to everyone and everything that I know. My time is best spent when I drop everything and write. It doesn't matter how bad my day was, how depressed I am feeling, how mad I am: writing releases all of that for me. That's how I became a writer. When I was young, I would sit in my room crying for hours. Now, my tears are these words, the ink spills from my pen like the tears of my sad youth. I bleed ink on paper, but my words heal me. I have found my faith and my love and my hope and my cure in writing, and that's the best thing in the world.

© 2022 Anne Marie Carr

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