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  • Writer's pictureJ. R. Erickson

You Have to Start Somewhere

Writing can be an intimidating process especially when you first start out. The naysayers are many often detailing how difficult it is to get into an MFA program, get published, write something worthy and, of course, make a living doing so. However, if you love to write, you must abandon other peoples’ opinions of the obstacles and go forward with a singular focus on doing what you love and making it work as best you can. This means beginning in a space that’s reasonable and accepting where you are right now, irrelevant of where your writer friends are or where you feel like you should be.

A little over a year ago, I moved back to Lansing and struck up a friendship with a neighbor who loved to read and enjoyed writing, but had never really felt confidant taking the plunge. Over a series of months chatting about writing, he started to pen short stories. He would carve out time in the mid-day when his son was at school and before he went to his overnight shift at work. He wrote short stories and then began submitting them to small flash fiction contests and various websites. Within a month or two of writing his first story, he won a small contest and received a $10 gift card and publication online. His enthusiasm was contagious and he thanked me profusely for inspiring him to believe that he could do it. It reminded me of how hugely gratifying every step of the writing process can be. Where ever we are, we can discover the joy and satisfaction of living our craft. Whether you’re writing a journal so that you can better reflect on your life or completing and selling your latest manuscript, allow gratitude into your life so that you can celebrate every victory regardless of its perceived value.

If you’ve been writing every day or never written a word, but really have wanted to, begin today – now – this moment. You have to start somewhere…

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. Graham Greene


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