The Golden Key

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I went to a writing class this weekend. I thought I would learn a lot. I didn’t learn too much. (On a happier note, I did get blog material for two whole posts!)

I am not sure why I signed up for the course. I bumped into the listing while I was doing research for something else. The course title struck a chord and after debating for a week or so, I signed up for the class.

But there’s another reason I signed up for the course. Because I felt like I should. Because I didn’t want to miss anything. And maybe, just maybe, I felt in need of some validation.

Writers have a thin line to straddle. In one ear we’re told to learn as much as we can about our craft, to stay on top of current publishing trends, to be “in the know” about all things writer. Being “in the know” about the (volatile) writing world isn’t often encouraging and it’s easy to feel inadequate and ill-informed. But being constantly afraid of the world we wish to exist in doesn’t do us much good. If we assume we’ll know how to write after reading just one more writing how to book, we never get anything done.

On the drive home on Sunday night I told Andy, “Sometimes it feels like I’m waiting for someone to give me the magic golden key to become a writer.”

Yet, there’s a golden key already waiting within my grasp: trust. 


  1. You do have the golden key, now you just have to learn how to use it! I've wanted to write for years and just recently got to the point where I am feeling at all validated.

  2. For years I've scribbled plot lines on napkins and first chapters on hotel stationary. I've filled note books with short stories. I've half finished four novels.

    And I always stop short.

    I finally realized that I'm not finishing what I start because I'm so overwhelmed and unsure of what happens "after". What happens after you finish that book and decide to try to get your baby published? It seems like a confusing world filled with people who assume you have knowledge that you don't.

    You know how every quest story has a guide? Someone who tells the hero what he needs to do to complete his task?

    I haven't been able to find my guide. So I get paralyzed.

    My husband told me if I write it, the guide will come.

    I told him that he's watched Field of Dreams one too many times.

    But he may be right.


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