Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sharing Your Story

Good morning, Highlowaha! It's Katie here ready to start another day with you!

Today I would like to take some time to honor someone I consider to be an American legend, and someone who I feel can have a great impact on many of us. Today is Maya Angelou's birthday. While I would not call myself one of her biggest fans or say that I have read the majority of the pieces she has written, I do know that she stands for a strong message. I know that she has strong themes of identity, race, family, and personal growth in her writings, and for many of us, these are the themes of our lives.

Back in June of last year, we spent a day on the blog trying to find our connections with one another. One of the strongest connections that we found was our desire to write and be published. I believe there were over 15 of us that day that all stated we have a life goal to get published. When I think of my desire to write something worthy of being published, I look to writers such as Maya Angelou who take a strong stand for what they feel is important and write about it. I think each of us has a story to share, and I know for many of us on the blog, we want to share that story.

Having said all of that- it leads me to wonder where each of you is in the writing process. I figured we could share what is is that we want to write about and have published. I'll get us started! For the past 5 years of my life (4 years of undergraduate study + 1 year of graduate study), I have sent my high, low, and aha to Claudia every Sunday. It started out as a requirement for the class I was taking with her, but it continued as my way to reflect on my experience each week. 5 years later, we have hundreds of my highs, lows, and ahas. Now that I am studying student development theory as part of my graduate work, I understand what I was experiencing as it relates to development theory. I would like to take all of these reflections and partner them together with some of these theories to create a book for my field on the development of a college student. Hopefully one day I will make this dream come true.

Now, what about you? What do you want to write about? Have you gotten started? What plans do you have in place already?

Before signing off for the day and in sticking with our theme of sharing one new idea every day, I would like to share some tips I have received over time as I've shared my goal of getting published with others. One mentor once told me to make sure I keep a notebook next to the head of my bed every night to write down any middle of the night ideas I have. He told me it was important that I write at least one thing in this notebook every day to keep the ideas flowing. He also suggested that this notebook only be used for the ideas related to my book. This way, all the thoughts would be centralized in one location instead of having them spread all over the place. Another mentor once shared a set of Top 10 Tips for Writing Like a Pro. Check out this website for the tips: Top 10 Tips.

If you don't have a desire to write and be published, do you know anyone that does? What have you done to encourage them in this pursuit? I once sent a care package to the person I hope to write my book with that included red pens, motivational quotes about writing, a notebook to be jotting down ideas, etc. Is there something you could be doing to encourage this person to share their story?

Signing off until Monday...


Chaotic said...

I went to hear Natalie Goldberg speak in Austin TX 4/1/9.... I am in a writer's group & several of us went. It was very encouraging bc she tells you to write the one thing I have chosen not to...says if you don't get it out, it is taking up room your other memories need. SO I think I will start on a rather vague, broad type of memoir, even if I am the only one that ever sees it.

Katie K said...

Chaotic- I have thought many times that I should create a memoir of my own life journey. That is a neat concept to think about how it's taking up room other memories need. I just might have to get started on that. If for no other reason then to have something to share with my kids and grandkids.

Cheryl said...

I love Maya Angelou! I love her work but most of all I love her voice!

I don't have a great desire to publish a book I don't think but I do have a collection of creative writing. Mostly poems. I recently wrote a children's book as a joke about being old and not wanting a pet. :)

Encouraging others to write... that's a great idea about the red pens and such. Let me ask this... when most people are writing these days... is it on paper or on a computer? Is it on paper first and then a computer? Or straight to computer? If it is only on a computer I have two words for you:


Happy Saturday!

Peggy said...

My thoughts on writing:

I took a creative writing class in college and loved it!! With my liberal arts degree I was able to incorporate my writing with one of my art classes and actually printed out 5 small bound booklets (maglets). In trying to be clever the title:
Little Significance
which, if you know me by now, the title means, "Hey, look at me I'm here! Acknowledge me, but don't make THAT big of a deal about ME!!"

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds since I was in college, I was still using white out with my typewriter!!!

I've also since, illustrated a cat toy booklet with an aspiring writer friend, that has yet to find a publisher... but it was fun and invigorating to do!

Katie K said...

PS. I failed to mention that I got chinese food with some friends last night and my fortune said- "Writing is thinking on paper." It was, along with knowing that Maya's birthday is today, my inspiration for today's post.

Cheryl- I do the majority of my writing on the computer. However, my initial thoughts and notes to myself start in my notebook. I have mind maps all over the place, but the actual writing does take place on the computer. So, for the care package- maybe buying them a flash drive to BACK IT UP? Haha.

Claudia said...

Sunday night. I wish I could say I was commenting so late on a Sunday night because I was busy writing all weekend. No such luck.

I have great aspirations of writing a book (or maybe article).. The general topic... community development.

For those aspiring writers out there... how/when do you fit it in to your day? Morning, lunch hour, or weekends? It seems to be the last thing for which I am able to make time.

Amy said...

HI everyone!
I have a strong desire to write. In 2006 I co-op published my book, Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss. While writing my chapters and other parts, I acted as editor for the entire book. It's not perfect nor is it a best seller but it's a niche book and finds its way where it needs to be.

I also started a novel several years ago and am sad to say I still have writers block. I think the part I am at in the story is just painful to think so I just stopped.

I attend a writers group when I have time which is sponsored by my local public library