I’m reading Escaping Into the Open: The Art of True Writing by Elizabeth Berg. What I like about this book so far is that it doesn’t bore me with technical stuff, but it seems more about how one feels about writing rather than telling one how to write. In the introduction she tells about how her partner knows she has a need to tell a story, and for her, when she tells it out loud something is missing. That she gets a deeper sense of meaning and satisfaction from writing it.
I can relate to this. I swear that I have undiagnosed ADD, so when I try to tell a story I lose track in mid-sentence, wander off onto different paths, and lose sight of my original thought. I actually have to stop to ask, “What was I talking about?” My doctor disregards it, claiming it’s an over 40 thing, but I’m not so sure. When I tell a story out loud I still include all of the details, which seems to make it long and drawn out. Once while dating a guy, I told him a story, and he said I’d make a great witness. I imagine that would make a great writer too.
Elizabeth Berg said she hadn’t studied writing, that she was a part-time registered nurse, wife and mother before publishing. Anyone can write, but it seems that we often get it in our head that authors are just naturally gifted, or that they’ve had years of training to learn their craft. We think, I would never be able to do that. It isn’t so. Our problem is that we don’t give it an honest attempt. All we need to do is listen and observe the world around us, learn from it, and most important, read and write often.