Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursdays with Taryn~ Dusting off the Past To Find Inspiration

I've been thinking about the fact that I'm really kind of burnt out on blogging— at least, I am so far this year. Last year was a real doozy, as I attempted to put myself out there more because I had just been published and well, a girl's gotta promo and I want to keep up this year, but feel like I've lost my gusto and had the wind knocked out of me.

Today though, I'm taking advice from fellow KIW, author Katherine Lowry Logan, who suggested resharing old posts that have been popular here on the blog. As I was scrolling through my prior posts, all the way back to mid-2007, I realized that a lot of the first ones I wrote, the ones that really inspired me probably haven't seen the light of day. I had no followers back then and simply took pleasure in putting my thoughts down and talking to myself. I mean, I still do to myself, that is, but what if something I wrote back then, that few have seen, might give inspiration or resonate with another author or aspiring author now? If I leave them back there, they'll just get lost in the slush pile of my blog writing archives, but if I find a way to repurpose those thoughts and ramblings, it could be a good thing.

I mean, I have to admit...back then I was writing blogs for the pure fun of it, because I was inspired and wanted to share my thoughts about myself as a writer. I really didn't think anyone was listening anyway, but I still put it out there, knowing someone might stumble upon it. I wasn't caught up in pushing promo, for myself or anyone else at the time. I just felt I had something to say, even if I was just sharing diary entries and a glimpse into who I was as I first started my writing journey. And the thing was, I was spending a great deal of time actually WRITING, not just on this blog, but on my stories, and that's not something I can say I do on a really regular basis anymore. I want and NEED to change that.

Perhaps this will be a good thing for me as a writer- to climb over things and sit in the back of my virtual closet and dig through my virtual cardboard boxes and see what gems I might find to rejuvenate my own writing, to remind me who I am at my writer's core and to share with others and hope that they find inspiration from stories that have been rebooted.

So here's where I'm going to begin this year- a post from August of 2007 (though I've updated it a little, mostly in part due to referencing my children now, as opposed to almost 6 years ago because my daughter wasn't old enough to read yet. She's now an avid reader too and loves to write her own little stories, at home and at school. Teacher loves them and thinks she gets that from me or so she said at the Parent/Teacher conference we had a few months back)

Books and the Condescending Librarian

Writing is an extensive endeavor. Even when I'm not writing, I'm either reading something by a writer or reading something to educate myself on writing or doing research. Even when I'm not doing that, writing stays on my mind. I love to talk about writing.

My desire to write comes from somewhere deep inside me. I'm not even sure when it started to be honest. Some little ember ignited my love of reading and my mom even said that as a child I loved books and making up stories.

I know at one point in my life there was an instance that could've damaged my love of reading and writing for the rest of my life. It's any wonder it didn't.

I was in 3rd grade and I was going to borrow a book that was probably more advanced than my reading level. I always borrowed books from the school library, but that one time, the librarian made a point of telling me she thought it was too advanced for me to read and she didn't think I could read it before I brought it back. It could be that I had borrowed it before and hadn't read it and wanted to re-borrow it. I'm not sure, but I told her I would read it by the time I had to return it a week later.

Of course, I didn't read it and maybe it was stubbornness or just rebellion on my part, but when I brought it back, she asked me point blank if I read it and I told her the truth. She told me that if I didn't read the books I borrowed I shouldn't borrow any. Now I can't recall for sure if she didn't allow me to borrow books anymore, but I do recall that I didn't want to borrow any more from her and I don't think I did the rest of that school year.

I still look back and see her as a condescending adult who should've known better. She humiliated me, hurt my feelings and made me feel about this big.

I didn't borrow any books from the school library again until I started 4th grade, at a different school with a different librarian. I look back on that now and wonder how an adult could look at an 8 or 9 year old child and chastise them for something like that.

Now, I do remind my kids not to borrow something if they don't really want or plan to read it, but I wouldn't tell them that they couldn't borrow ANY books from the library. I encourage both my kids to enjoy books for everything they are worth, the adventures and emotions that you get from reading a book that puts you in another world or another life.

It was shortly after that incident in 3rd grade though that I started collecting books of my own to read. I convinced my dad to get me a subscription to the Just for Girls book club through Scholastic and if I read a book I liked well enough, I ended up buying it at some point. I started creating my OWN library.

Like I said, it could've ruined my love of reading and writing, but in some ways, that librarian's snotty attitude may have actually had the opposite affect on me. I wanted books of my own more than ever. In fact, I've got a LOT of books I've never even read in my bookcase & on my Kindle (Perhaps it's the early stages of being a hoarder- of books at least). They are on my TBR list, but I know that I can read them anytime I want without someone looking down their nose at me and telling me that I have to do it their way or the highway...

It may well have been when I started dreaming of being a writer, too, because if I never stepped foot in another library, at least I'd have my own stories I could read and no one telling me that I couldn't.

Isn't it funny how childish beliefs and issues carry over into adulthood, but at the same time might well have been the catalyst for my desire to write? Maybe I should be thankful for the condescending librarian, but more so, I'm glad that it didn't turn me against reading & writing altogether.

Was there ever anyone or anything that could've turned you off of writing? Please feel free to share.

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