I Used to Hate Writing

When I was in school, writing was something that I was “good” at. My parents, teachers, and peers complimented my ability to string coherent sentences together.

But I didn’t like writing.

It was a chore, albeit one that came easily to me. I knew how to figure out what each teacher was looking for and write something that would earn me an A. I was in honors and AP writing classes throughout high school. The only assignments I remember enjoying were the ones where we wrote personal essays or fiction. Those assignments I would pour my heart into. However, most of the time, my writing skills were relegated to essays on literature and history.

I’ve kept a journal since I could make a mark with a pencil. I never considered that writing, for some reason. Maybe it’s because my journal entries are riddled with misspellings and slang, some of which is entirely made up by yours truly. If I couldn’t show it to a teacher and get an A or a B, it wasn’t “real” writing.

When I finally decided that I wanted to be a writer earlier this year, I wondered why I had never enjoyed writing in grade school or college. Then it dawned on me.

I LOVE writing, just not what other people tell me to.

The content of my writing has to come from within myself. If I don’t have an internal spark for what I’m writing, it’s boring and laborious.

My point: There isn’t one way to be a writer, and you don’t have to like all forms of writing to be a writer.

“Duh,” right?

It may seem obvious, but it’s not something I realized until recently.

So if you want to be a writer but only like writing about World War II, or Wall Street, or science fiction, that’s okay, that’s great. You don’t have to enjoy writing from prompts (I hate it), you don’t have to like keeping journals.

Once you’ve learned the mechanics of writing, write what you want to.