In honor of National Writing Day on October 20, the team behind our writing products - PEG Writing, NC Write, and PEG Writing Scholar - will be sharing their stories of why they write. We will share a story per day this week. We hope you enjoy getting to know our team and hearing about why they choose to write. You can also find Brian's story on our NC Write and PEG Writing Scholar blogs.
Why do I write? In one (hyphenated word): self-confidence. The act of regular writing inherently includes practice, revision, improvement, and more practice. It’s a cyclical path that helps you gain more confidence in your own writing skills.
My medium of choice is the blog post/short story. Inevitably, every time I publish something, I have a little rush of doubt. But I also find it a bit exhilarating to put a raw piece of myself in front of the public eye and wait for a reaction. And the more I do it, the more the scales tip in favor of the latter.
At first, I was very nervous to share things I’d written and I told very few people how to find my blog. Early on, I’d frequently draft something, only to come back hours or days later and pore over it, second guessing every word, and re-writing sections until they were more to my liking. But interestingly, I realized I was getting good feedback from my published posts, even before I had a chance to go back and revise them myself. People were pointing out things they liked or that they didn’t initially understand, things I hadn’t noticed myself as the author.
This all had a positive effect on my writing in three major ways:
- I realized that I actually do have some native talent when it comes to telling a story via the written word, and that my fears of not being a good writer existed more in my head than they did in reality. It was a first step to being more confident in my ability to tell a story.
- The feedback I got in early drafts helped reinforced the good attributes of my writing, and pointed out spots where additional practice would allow me to grow. I was really impressionable to the power of peer review as a tool for effective self-evaluation.
- I learned that, since I’m never going to be truly satisfied with my own work (let’s face it, writing is subjective and what sounds perfect one day might not sound so perfect the next), it was well worth spending some extra time revising and re-reading before publishing. Now, if I manage my time and allow enough room for revision and practice, I am happier with the final result I submit for publication.
Writing has allowed me to process and reflect on so many events in my life that I otherwise might not have gotten to really think through and digest. Taking the time to consider the feedback I’ve gotten, combined with allowing myself extra time to practice, revise, and reflect on what I’ve written, have helped me become a better and more skilled writer.