Guest Post: A Writer on Writing

by Ruby on May 14, 2010

The Writer Inside
by Kelly Thacher

Kelly will be teaching a 6-week Intuitive Writing Workshop at Vroman’s beginning on May 26. Please call us at (626) 449-5320 or click here for more information.

“Oh, I’m not a writer!”  If I had even a penny for every time someone said that to me, I could have retired years ago.  But no matter–I love to hear that, because when I do, I know there is a story just waiting to be told, and that the person who said it to me in fact has his or her own very special connection to the power of words–they just haven’t unlocked it yet.

When someone declares that they aren’t a “writer” they are usually comparing themselves to their favorite fiction author, or some icon like William Shakespeare.  While it’s true that not everyone is cut out for fiction writing, all of us possess the capability–and some level of need–to communicate through writing.  Writing requires a creative “muscle” that not everyone is comfortable with using.  And those uncomfortable people are the ones I enjoy teaching most in my workshops, because 9 times out of 10, they have the most interesting things to say, and the best stories to tell.

For example, Amy Sowers is a dear friend of mine.  I would get these hysterically funny e-mails from her about the everyday antics she faced on her working farm in Ohio.  I would write back to her and tell her she needed to think about sending these stories out to for publication.  It turns out, I wasn’t the only one telling her this.  She finally agreed to let me help her focus on how she wanted to get her stories out there.  Today, she has a blog that is read and commented on by people everywhere!

And after 20+ years in various editorial jobs, this is where it all leads for me:  helping people find their own connection to their best story, and helping them tap into the writing process that is waiting at their own fingertips.  I think of it as the equivalent of handing someone the keys to a brand new Mustang (GT of course!–nothing less than 800 horses will do).  After the initial shock subsides, followed by a denial of ability to handle their new gift, they gingerly get in behind the wheel, crank the engine, lock it in first, and take off. Hopefully, I’ll soon be just a dot in the rear view mirror.  They’ve started writing, and an entire childhood, or funny anecdote, or adventure tale comes to life.  A storyteller is born.