Friday, April 18, 2008

WHY WRITE?


Many of you think you are not writers. But we all are really. If we can speak, we can write. Writing is more than weaving a tale into a novel. It is reporting history, your personal history. This may not seem important but it is to future generations who will need to know what happened in the early 2000's in order to weave their tales into novels.

Weird huh? Just as I wanted to know what happened in the mid 1800's to write a historical novel, someone will be wanting to write a historical about 2008.

I feel old all ready.

Back to the subject. Almost every scene in my historical came from letters, journals, and diaries of men and women in the gold rush. One of the journals was from my great-grandfather. He recorded daily events like the weather, cost of food, his work, conversations, all that gave me the feel for the late 1800's.

I read the raw emotions of women forced to leave the civilized world of the east coast and being forced to journey across the country, give birth in a wagon, lose children in tall prairie grasses or watch them die of cholera and leave them in a shallow grave on the trail. Some gave up and died in their soul, other rose above their pain and worked hard cooking, and doing laundry for exorbitant prices and made more than the miners.

You see, to them this was life. Their life. They didn't expect me to read their journals over 100 years later. And they didn't' expect their pain to help me. While reading I was reminded of what is important and what isn't. I was encouraged to be a stronger woman like my foremothers.

And that is why we write. It is a gift we leave future generations. Whether it is a daily notation of the price of eggs, the weather, happenings in our family, and our verbal expressions, all will be eagerly devoured by future historians. I read a book that was put together by a gal who recorded her grandmother's calendar. The grandmother made daily notations and saved the calendars.

What a great idea! That wouldn't be too hard.

In this day of email, long newsy letters are becoming a thing of the past. Please, when you write a newsy email or receive one, make a hard copy. The novelist of 2108 will thank you!

Up next: A series on WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION