Permission to Publish: Writing for an Audience
To me, permission to write really means writing for an audience and giving myself permission to have others read my writing. Because, I had always written. Starting with my first-ever diary in grade school. I remember it clearly: it had a turquoise blue border, with a picture of a girl on the front (possibly Holly Hobby?), and the best part – it had a LOCK! Wow – something I could write my secret thoughts in, and no one would ever read it. I had three younger brothers who were always snooping around. I could not contain my enthusiasm.
I also read books all the time. I used to put an apple in my pocket and a book in the waistband of my shorts, and climb this enormous tree that was in the woods next to our house. (I had to get away from those brothers somehow!) This was my private sanctuary. I couldn’t believe that no one ever raised their eyes to look up in the tree, but they didn’t. I could spy on the whole neighborhood, and I could also eat my apple and read my book in peace. I believe that any good writer was first an avid reader. To me, the two just go together.
Diary writing soon turned into full-notebook-size journal writing. Looking back now, I think I mostly wrote about boys… and how my mom just didn’t get me. You know, normal teenage stuff.
I remember in high school doing some “serious” journal assignments for a couple of classes. One of them was for a class called “Marriage” (yes, I went to a parochial high school), and I really admired and respected the teacher. I remember him telling me that I had a talent for writing, and he hoped I did something with that in my future.
Well I did, but not until I reached the tender age of 44. My husband and I decided to make a huge life change, and in June of 2013, we early-retired and moved from Dallas, TX to Costa Rica! I immediately started blogging, and found out that I LOVE it, and am good at it. (People actually want to read my blog!) And now I’m writing a book, which I had always wanted to do. I found an editor who just started helping me edit, and even though I am writing this book regardless, upon hearing his words, “yep, you can write,” I seemed to let out my breath that I hadn’t realized I was holding.
I had always wanted to write, but giving myself permission to have others read my writing took courage and time. Sure, writing my first blog post was a little nerve wracking, as I’m sure writing my first published book will be. However, it is true that you become stronger after doing something you previously thought you could not do.