One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other. Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.
This week’s topic is:
As with most things in life, change is inevitable. Thinking specifically about your writing, how has it changed over the years since you started writing? This can be thematic, stylistic, technological or any other way in which writing has grown or changed over the years that you have been a writer.
Discuss this topic here in the comments or head on over to the forums to start or engage in a more thorough discussion.
For me this is kind of an “all of the above” answer. I’ve grown and changed as a writer, of course, simply owing to the fact that I started writing stories when I was 6 years old and now I’m…. well, I’m much older than 6. As a teenager I wrote a lot of comedy, probably as means of trying to deal with a life and a world that was perplexing to me. The style didn’t vary amongst my stories all that much, it was purely whatever mechanism got me to the next punchline. Always third person, always not taking it too seriously. I wrote poetry, short stories and stage plays at that time and while the poetry would often be about frustrated teenaged emotions and unrequited love, the stories and plays were always filled with plenty of laughter and absurdity.
As I got older, I started writing some things in the first person. This has gotten more and more comfortable over the years and has allowed me to explore different emotional angles to stories than I could easily explore from the third person. Generally, the punchlines are still there but occasionally I’ll take a darker turn and go straight up serious. Those who know me well will still see a one liner or two buried in the seriousness but I’ve gotten to a point where I can and do write about more serious issues now than I ever could when I was younger. I still write stories, plays and poetry, but have mixed in an attempt at a novel every year for NaNoWriMo as well, with varying results in terms of quality.
Technologically it’s all changed of course. When I started writing, computers were just starting to be around and they were huge, clunky things. I did all of my writing on paper and/or an old, manual typewriter. This continued until I was in college when I actually got my first computer (for my fellow geeks, it was an old XT-clone with 64kb of RAM, a low-density 5 1/4 floppy drive and one of those enormously sized yet tiny storage hard drives back from the old days – that beast was what I used to get through my computer science degree in school, too, so it was a workhorse!) Now I write primarily on my laptop because I pretty much live on my laptop. When I’m out on the road I’ll switch to paper usually, but now that I have my windows phone which links seamlessly to my laptop, I’ve started doing some of my writing using MS Word on my phone.
The biggest change for me, though, is a big negative one. Back in the day, I used to write every single day, without fail. It wasn’t always good or useful writing, but every day I’d sit down and scribble into my notebook for some amount of time. Today, though, with life, work, the kids’ schedules, chores around the house and any number of other excuses, I find that I’m almost never able to prioritize the writing. I’m just too busy and too tired. When I do have time to write, the words don’t flow like they used to. So, it’s become a struggle and I haven’t yet figured out how to work my way out of it. I may have to turn back to my old “just make it about the jokes” strategy, but I don’t feel funny right now. Thinking back, though, my funniest stories as a teen came when I was in the worst places in my life at that time. So maybe that’s an idea with merit…
A number of things have changed for me. First I wrote a lot of fiction. Now I tend to write personal essays on stuff and little fiction. I use to write all prose and now spend more of my time writing poetry.
I started writing young. Early on, in my grammar school years, I wrote straightforward aventure stories. Then, I got all self-conscious in my adolescence and wrote a lot of terrible poetry and maudlin stories. It was during 11th grade that a creative writing teacher told me that my writing wouldn’t amount to much, which kept me from writing for many years, outside of technical documents and work-related counseling notes.
I’ve come full circle. Now, I’m back to writing straightforward adventure stories (they’re set in apocalyptic and other worlds, but still). I love them. I love that they don’t have to be literary, or depressing, or incredibly moving. I’ll never win a nobel prize, but I’ll enjoy writing what I like.