The Writing Spark

Hi SEers!  Denise here, and I’m going to talk about that spark that started me writing. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it ignited in me, but I remember my exhilaration when I wrote a short story in my first year of high school. It received an A because of the story told. My teacher overlooked the grammar.

It was during this period in high school that I fell in love with creating stories. The fresh glow that came with my first love kindled that spark. Anything became possible as the world opened up and that writing flame grew stronger. I could create any realm and characters, then live there with them, just like reading.

Then I took classes that advanced my knowledge and skills. I explored new writing avenues that included children’s books, articles, poetry, short stories, and fiction.

Recently, that writing spark from my youth has dimmed. Although I was still writing, editing, and making deadlines, something was lacking. It went from being joyful to a burden. I had burnt myself out trying to become proficient at “everything” writing. Then doubt paid a visit. I wondered why was I writing? Have you ever felt like that?

That uncertainty made me contemplate why writers write.

Here are eight reasons I came up with:

  1. Answer the what-if.
  2. Educate or entertain others.
  3. Create a new world to visit.
  4. Resolve problems or issues in fiction or nonfiction.
  5. A way to express and learn more about the world and yourself.
  6. The stories must be told.
  7. Writing can be therapeutic and healing.
  8. A safe place to explore ideas.

Did you see a reason you started writing? What were your reasons?

Now, I’m encouraging that tiny spark by remembering why I write. When I sit down at the keyboard, I consider that young girl who found a creative world opening up to her.

Writing was my first love, and that feeling hasn’t gone away. Is there a lot more to learn? Yes, but it’s the reason I do it that keeps that spark burning bright enough so I can see the words.

https://dlfinnauthor.com/

113 thoughts on “The Writing Spark

  1. I had always been into books but had never considered writing. It was only when I turned 14 and was forced to write a poem for my school did I realise how naturally poetry came to me. I adore writing and I started a blog a few days ago so that I could share something I adore with the world and hopefully inspire, comfort or just bring a smile on someone’s face! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading brings us into a wonderful world to learn to explore. I’m so glad you found your passion for writing poetry. Congrats on starting a blog and sharing your words. I wish you a lot of success and personal satisfaction.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Song lyrics can be very inspiring, I can see why that led you to writing. Yes, words can have a lot of effect and are powerful, I agree.

      Like

    • I know life can get in the way Sabaris, but I’m hoping you can rekindle that writing flame again. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and wishing you all the best with your writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. this is such a wonderful post! for me i’ve loved writing since i was in kindergarten and now that i’m a bit older i feel like i’m always making excuses not to write and it started to feel like a burden, so thank you for this post, it really made me think about why i love to creating fictional worlds ! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you:) Life can certainly get in the way of writing, along with forgetting why we do it, Poorvi:) Remembering why I started writing pushes all the reasons away that have stopped me. Happy creating!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I had a teacher I could do that to when we had to keep journals 🙂 In my defense she already didn’t like me…lol. Yes, there is power in those words, Liz!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very interesting post, Denise! Thank you for sharing. Honestly, the fact that I was a very bad story writer at school blocks me, to this day. In Latin class, on the other hand, I translated so freely that I immediately added a whole new story to the text to be translated. Lol Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday March 2nd 2021 – #Interview Liz Gauffreau, #Texaspower John Howell, #CreativeSpark D.L. Finn | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  5. I started writing on a fluke, Denise, but I have learned that balancing other parts of our lives with the hours and hours and hours we dedicate to writing is vital. Burn out is real. (And this dang pandemic doesn’t help). Even so, we can’t live a healthy well-rounded life stuck behind a screen. Your spark will return. Enjoy life and it will be back full of energy.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Terrific post Denise and struck a chord with me.. I was very young when I began making up stories in my head and was frustrated that I didn’t as yet have the skills to write them down. Stories took second place to poems and song lyrics but when in my early 20s it suddenly clicked and I would say it is people and emotions that get me wondering ‘what if’..whenever I met someone new..

    Liked by 2 people

    • I found the skills were so much harder to learn than creating the stories:) I like how you wondered what-if when meeting someone new. People and emotions are such a deep place to explore with so many possibilities. I’m so glad that sparked your writing. Thanks, Sally!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. To go wherever our imagination takes us, whether you create a totally new planet or a fantasy world or like me enjoy writing about ordinary people who often face the extraordinary. Writing has been even more important in lockdown!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it was very important to tap into our writing spark this last year if we could. I agree it is a wonderful gift to let imagination take us to amazing places 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed your post, Denise. I think I write to tell stories that I hope will touch people in some way. I enjoy writing as an end unto itself, but there is always that desire to make it more than just words. Super post. It seems my spark never goes out, and probably the last thing I do in this life will be to write something down. Maybe it will be a shopping list. Who knows. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The spark ignited in me when I was around the age of ten. It took me a long time before I did anything about it, but once I did…

    This sounds like a cliche, but I write because I “have” to write. It’s in my blood.

    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That spark does seem to be there when we are younger but we always can’t or don’t feed it until later. Once we embrace that spark it sure seems to take off! It’s the only way to say we have to write because it will wake us up or come at other times if we try to ignore it. Thanks, Joan 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I love this post, Denise. That line–“Anything became possible as the world opened up and that writing flame grew stronger. “–I so relate to that. It sounds trite unless it happened to you, which it did. It is like something burning inside.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jacqui. It is hard to explain unless it’s described as something burning inside and lighting your way to write or whatever other passion you might have. That’s the thing that keeps us going forward 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Nothing beats that first bite of the writing bug. But I think as we evolve as writers, we find different joys, different reasons why we write. Yes, it’s work. It’s also important to remember, as you pointed out, to never forget why we started writing in the first place. Great post, Denise.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That first bite and enthusiasm are wonderful! Yes, we do evolve as writers and our joys and reasons might change, I agree. But that first push that got us started and that ignited our passion is good to remember when we need it. Thanks, Sue.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I began writing at the age of eleven. Circumstances found me living on the streets with fourteen other street kids. I would never have survived alone out there, they became my family. The youngest among us was Jenny. She was eight years old and had the oldest eyes I’ve ever seen. I found a good way to make her smile when I began writing stories in pencil in the columns of old newspapers … every story had Jenny as the victor, never the victim. My subsequent memoir was written to honor a promise I’d made her to tell our stories. I then discovered the pleasure of writing fiction, the wonderful sensation of crafting words that someone somewhere may eventually read and enjoy adds immeasurably to my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’ve always enjoyed reading, so naturally I would eventually want to start making up my own stories. And that started for me around the time I was in hiigh school. For me, I like to write mostly to make up my own worlds and to entertain myself and others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make a great point about being a reader first and that spark starting there. I know that I loved to get lost in a great story. It does seem natural to take the next step and create something we and others can enjoy. Happy reading and writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. This is such a great post, Denise. After many years of writing, it can become like a job. One thing I have found that always helps rekindle that spark and flame is in writing short stories. They are a great way to get excited again when you are trudging through a 90,000 word manuscript. It helps to bring the excitement back, at least for me. Thank you for sharing and may the spark never go out!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Jan 🙂 I agree about short stories rekindling that fire or doing challenges. I started out writing short stories so that part of it connects me to that young writer with a world of possibilities ahead of her. It is a great place to really dive into the what ifs and whys of life. Thanks, Jan and may the spark burn brightly for years to come!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I think of writing as a personal indulgence–something I do for myself. Over the years, the more time I have for myself, the more time I write. It gives me balance and keeps me entertained. It’s fun to explore new possibilities in stories, to get really intimate with new characters, and I get to create them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is a wonderful gift to give to ourselves to be able to write. Then we get to explore not only what’s inside us but outside. There is a balance offered and some entertainment along the way, I agree, Judi. Happy writing:)

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Hi Denise, there is something gratifying about creating alternate worlds and realities, isn’t there? You made a great point about trying to do too much and the fun going out of it. Yes. I’ve experienced this, too. I think this is why it’s great that we help eachother, much easier than going alone. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, it is fun to explore alternate worlds and realities, Mark. I think it opens our minds to new possibilities and solutions. I tend to try to do everything myself and found, like you said, I don’t have to in our writing community. Help, wisdom, and support surround us and mske us better writers and humans too.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: Reblog Twofer! | The Write Stuff

  18. I never thought I would be a writer. But I turned to songwriting and poetry to get me through a difficult part of my life (#7 – Writing can be therapeutic and healing and #5 – A way to express and learn more about the world and yourself). The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it, and now I write because because I want to entertain, I want to make people laugh or smile, and I want to share what’s inside.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I completely agree with you, Leon that poetry offers a places to heal, learn, and explore. I have never written words for songs but lately I have been studying them and trying to understand the process having so many musicians in the family. Music is definitely a gift that I’m lucky to be around.
      Writing is a great thing to make people smile with words and a safe place to express ourselves 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  19. The timing of this post is certainly interesting for me, Denise. I just gave an in-depth interview to my local newspaper. Two of the questions the interviewer asked me where why I write, and when I started. For me, I can definitely answer my writing has always been spurred by “what if.” That’s why I first started crafting stories when I was six, and why I still craft them today. Do the other reasons come into play? Some of them certainly, but for me, it always goes back to “what if.”

    Fun post today!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congrats on your interview, Mae. I hope we will be able to see it:) The what if is a big one for me too, especially with fiction and the paranormal. It really can take you on an unexpected journey, which I love. How great you started your writing journey at six and kept going. Thanks, Mae, glad you enjoyed the post.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Hi,
    I have always been curious. As a small child, I had more than my share of questions, so I would say that the why of my writing is to discover myself and maybe to change the negative thoughts that bound so many people into a box. I treasure writing. I see how it changes me. It keeps the little girl alive in me that is still asking questions.
    Very engaging post and I enjoyed it.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love your reason to write is asking why and especially wanting to change negative thoughts thst bound people into boxes! Writing does change us as we are able to look within and explore the world outside that. I smiled when you said it keeps the little girl alive inside, I completely agree, we never want to lose our inner child’s curiosity and wonder. Thank you, Pat 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Your thoughtful post took me on a journey. I was the eldest of seven and would make up stories for the kids. One day my mom gave me a new diary and suggested I write in it. I treasured that little book because it had a lock on it and was entirely my own, rare in a large farming family. Through the years that followed, I journaled. I still have many of those volumes. So why do I write? Because my soul requires it. It is a way to reach out to others, to share something of my heart, through thrillers,
    non-fiction, and poetry. And though the traumas of life slow me, confuse me, and may lead me to despair, I always return to writing. It opens the doors.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You bring back some memories of that first diary, Gwen. It was powerful having place to put ones thoughts and then lock them up until you were ready to share them. I burned all my younger diaires and journal in an effort to release the past. Although now I wish I still had them, but it was a healing process too. I understand perfectly when you say your soul requires you write. I’ve always felt I learn something about the author I’m reading from their words, even if fiction. It is a good place to write out those confusions and traumas, along with our hopes and dreams. I think that why I’m unable to write anything that doesn’t have or hint at a happy ending. I’m always careful what doors I open that I able to give a ending I might want to see in real life. Thanks, Gwen:)

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I tried other majors in college, but I circled back to English, which was always my favorite and best subject. I think writing was just my calling and was what I was destined to do.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Some people never realize what they should be doing. What a gift you always knew, Staci. After reading some of your work, I second it was your calling. I went back to college late in life with no real idea where it would go, and I ended up with English as my major. I still think about continuing that journey more, but happy I got as far as I did when I did.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. For me, it’s definitely number seven on your list. I wrote and published my first short story after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The story was about a lighthouse keeper’s daughter caring for her father who had Alzheimer’s. After that story was published, I entered a contest on a whim and was offered a book contract. For anyone struggling with challenges they are facing, I always recommend sitting down with a journal and putting your thoughts on paper. Great post, Denise!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks, Jill:) I completely agree about journaling. I have filled many journals over the years and found it healing and learned some things about myself. That had to be a comfort and therapeutic to write during a difficult time for you. What a reward to be offered a publishing contract. I found writing a safe place to explore my feelings when I couldn’t find a way to verbalize them.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve been a writer since I first held a crayon, lols. But lack of support and even ridicule (in most things, not just the writing efforts) dimmed that spark until it smothered. I tried again in my late teens, but without internet back then and work life, etc., that went nowhere, and still that lack of confidence.

    Not until came out of a Zen Buddhist Temple at aged 40, after about 13 years, did I finally write a book and publish. I haven’t looked back since. Now, writing is like breathing. As with many people, last year took its toll, along with my health, and I have a half-finished trilogy. After a few months of that languishing in a drawer, I then began a new book (which often works when my spark flounders), and that got underway for about two or three months and then that, too, died on me. I’m happy to say that I made myself a pact to jump in on January 4th, the first Monday of the new year, and have now finished The Vanished Boy. Now I just have to back and give CPR to the trilogy, lols.

    Great post on finding and rekindling the writing spark, Denise 🙂

    Reblogged this on: https://harmonykent.co.uk/the-writing-spark-story-empire/

    Liked by 5 people

    • I can relate to the lack of encouragement on writing or anything as well, Harmony, growing up. Although, it forced me to become my own encourager that helps me today. It took me a few years to get there though.
      You make a good point about having internet as a teen. I wonder if that would have flamed that spark with being about to reach out to like minded people. I’m so glad that spark kicked in at 40 for you and has been burned brightly for you, until last year. That year did the same for me, but I like how you moved on to other projects until one led you to the end, which I’m looking forward to reading 🙂 I’ve had some stories I’ve had to let go of for years until I could look at them again with a new prespective. May your health and writing spark burn brightly for you going forward. Thanks, Harmony!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: The Writing Spark | Story Empire | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  26. Pingback: Stop by and say hi! #WritingCommunity #storyempire #writing #indieauthor – Author D.L. Finn

    • Last year seemed to take a toll on many sparks. Maybe if you can go back to when you started writing and remember why you wanted to do it? I know that’s helped me. I believe that it there just waiting to be found.

      Liked by 4 people

    • That happened to me (and many others,too) and it was frustrating to have all of that space and time to write but lack the inclination. Now that things are looking brighter, I’m back at my desk and my abandoned projects are stirring again. Hope your creative spark is kindled in the same way and bursts into a soul-warming flame.

      Liked by 3 people

  27. Those are great reasons to start writing! I sometimes think my reasons were purely by chance. I had to write an apology letter for behaving badly in class, and the teacher raised her eyebrows and said ‘Not bad’. I’d like to think that that event planted the seed. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Judith:) I’ve had many stories wake me up, some I’ve gotten down on paper, others I haven’t. It does seem those moments when everything settles down, our creativity starts to flow.

      Liked by 4 people

  28. My high school experiences were similar and for a while, I rode the wave of literary enthusiasm, until I fell in love got married and became a cooperate slave. it took more the twenty years before I managed to throw off the shackles, and another ten years before the spark ignited again. I am now in my sixtieth and I am bathing in the glory to let it all out. Is there anything more liberating then let the mind sin without restraints?

    Liked by 7 people

    • It was wonderful to experience that first enthusiasm of youth for writing:) Yes, life does require most of our attention at times, I agree, and our spark dims or goes out. I’m happy you removed your shackles and your spark ignited again! It is liberating to let our minds explore. Enjoy the journey.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Your experience sounds similar to mine. I loved it when we were told to write a story in class. I wrote one that was over 10 exercise book pages. Poor teacher having to wade through that. Anyway, I also loved English Grammar lessons, parsing sentences, writing precis etc.
      I wrote a very bad romance when I was about 14, but my friends were kind and said they enjoyed it.
      Then exams, teacher training, work, marriage and family arrived and I did no more. That is until I wrote a scenario for my D and D club. It told me to write it as a book, which has morphed into several. That was when I was in my late 50s. I took early retirement and the rest is history.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I was always thrilled when the teacher said write a story or we were doing a paper on any subject. Yes, life had a way of taking over and keeping us too busy to write, but it always seems to surface later:) So, glad you were able to retire early and focus on it! May your spark always glow brightly for you.

        Liked by 2 people

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