Writing Shaped My Thinking (TCWT)

Writing Shaped My Thinking (TCWT)

“How has writing affected your perception of the world?”

I’ve been told my Teens Can Write Too! blog chain post has to be under 1000 words – if they mentioned this before, I ignored it. So no introductions. That up there is the prompt and off we go.

I kept an everyday journal for about four months this year – until I filled the book – and I touched on this issue in my second entry, on the 23rd January. I’ll be referring to that and expanding my thoughts.

In some ways, writing keeps one young.

Most people grow out of their invisible friends from a young age, but writers are paid (or not) to spend all day with them. We live in a fantasy world. The only difference between my world and the one I had in my head as a child is that other people can enter it too. It’s as though we are the ticket sellers and those that buy our books are boarding a vessel that will take them far away for a few hours.

But writing also makes one grow old more quickly.

It is necessary, especially for teen writers like ourselves, to imagine situations in which we’ve never been, and experiences far from our ordinary lives. Therefore, we have to set our minds apart from normal life and imagine ourselves as somebody else, whose sufferings are no doubt greater than our own; their decisions harder; their victories greater…

I’ve never been in a position where I’ve known that I only had a day or two to live. I’ve never struggled with life-threatening illness like cancer. I’ve never been tortured, either physically or psychologically. I’ve never discovered that I was adopted, had powers, or was an alien. My characters have done all of these things, and I’ve had to put myself in their shoes and feel those emotions.

I’ve never been in a position where I had absolute power over somebody, where I could decide if they lived or died. I’ve never inflicting a fatal wound on an enemy. I’ve never tortured anyone, physically or psychologically. I’ve never had to break it to someone that they weren’t who they thought they were. My characters have done all of these things, and I’ve had to put myself in their shoes and feel emotions that perhaps I didn’t want to feel. I’ve had to be evil, to be cruel, to be heartless, to be broken.

I suppose therefore that many people are writers because they don’t want to grow up and get a real job. I’m among them.

However, writing has also given me maturity I may not have had otherwise had. I think, I over analyse situations. Actions are plots – people become antagonists or protagonists while I’m straddling the divide and trying to solve their problems (and they hate me for it).

One day, I will learn to stop hearing conversations as written dialogue. But that will be the day I lock myself away to write and never hear another conversation.

I have been a writer now for long enough that it is as much my identity as my hair or eye colour. Many people, mainly those who’ve only met me briefly, identify me by it. “That writer kid.” “The one in the corner with the notebook.” “The girl who types ridiculously first who is always in the library.” That’s who I am to people at school, on sailing camps, or on holidays.

And one day I’ll prove them right – their faith in me is not misplaced.

I now can’t watch a film without identifying plot points – the inciting incident, the climax, etc. I’ll refer to the protag and antag of the movie, much to my family’s confusion. I’ll analyse the personality of characters in children’s films like the Prince of Egypt, or I’ll start writing comparisons between certain scenes in Torchwood and Doctor Who.

Writing made it impossible for me not to think like a writer.

Writing made me grow up.

Through my writing, I have kept my childhood.

Through my writing, I have become a different person.

Yup, I got in right at the beginning of the chain –

July 7–http://miriamjoywrites.wordpress.com–Miriam Joy Writes

July 8–http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com–Musings From Neville’s Navel

July 9–http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com–This Page Intentionally Left Blank

July 10–http://maybeteenauthor.blogspot.com–Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author

July 11–http://scribblingbeyondthemargins.wordpress.com–Scribbling Beyond the Margins

July 12–http://lilyjenness.blogspot.com–Lily’s Notes In The Margins

July 13–http://correctingpenswelcome.wordpress.com–Comfy Sweaters, Writing and Fish

July 14–http://laughablog.wordpress.com–The Zebra Clan

July 15–http://realityisimaginary.blogspot.com–Reality Is Imaginary

July 16–http://a-myriad-of-colors.blogspot.com–A Myriad of Colors

July 17–http://anmksmeanderingmind.wordpress.com–An MK’s Meandering Mind

July 18–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com–The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer

July 19–http://allegradavis.wordpress.com–All I Need Is A Keyboard

July 20–http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com--Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)

26 thoughts on “Writing Shaped My Thinking (TCWT)

  1. Noice. This sums it all up. Hopefully my post isn’t woefully inadequate in comparison.
    Question about that 1000 word thing: do you count that with the links at the bottom included, or as the article itself? I’ve been pushing it for a few months now, writing 975-word posts before even getting the links. Just wondering.

    1. Thanks! It’s tough going first, but at the same time it’s good because you don’t have to think of anything new, you get to start it :) Also I’m convinced that most people only remember to read the other posts when they come to write theirs, therefore going first means you’re more likely to have people actually read it. At least that’s my theory. Not sure if it’s accurate or not.
      I’ve no idea on the wordcount thing. This turned out about 800 and then I added the links, to my surprise. Normally I’m about 1100 – I never even noticed that bit in the guidelines before, ha ha. I don’t think they’re strict, therefore!

      1. No, you’re right about that. Not many people remember to click on the dates after their post is published.

        No, there’s no wordcount police going around counting words… I hope.

          1. Plus links, that’s a lot. But long articles are nice to read and fun to write. This one seemed a bit rushed to me, so I’d suggest that we all just do away with the word limit– discreetly, of course. Don’t tell Allegra I said that.

          2. Ehehe, okay. Actually, this was the length this naturally came out at, but quite a bit of it I took directly from my journal, which is made up of very short entries :D

    2. I think we said under 1k for the first blog chain–way back in, like, October?–and sort of forgot about it afterwards. At least I did. :) But a little over the wordcount is fine; we just don’t want people to go on for thousands after thousands of words. And no, the links don’t count to worcount!

      1. Okay… My normal blog posts have occasionally gotten to 1.5k, which is a long article when you add links. I haven’t gone too overboard with TCWT, but I hope if I do I’ll be forgiven. Thanks for clearing this up.

  2. “I’d suggest that we all just do away with the word limit– discreetly, of course. Don’t tell Allegra I said that.”

    *whispers* I agree! I have my post written for tomorrow, and it’s… perhaps slightly over… but I won’t count the intro and the links, right? :P

    Nice post!

  3. Great post! This sums up my thoughts on the subject pretty well.
    And regarding word count: the way I look at it, it’s just a guideline. We don’t want people to feel obligated to write–or read–novella-sized treatises on the subject at hand. If you go a little over the “limit,” it’s perfectly fine. I can’t speak for John, but I certainly don’t go through counting up the words in everyone’s posts.

  4. Hm… I had soemthing to say and then I read the comments and my thought got up and left… You’d think it could have been kind enough to take me on vacation with it. *grins*

    I’ve come into being a writer later than you teens. When I was in school, I don’t really know what people thought of me as – perhaps the girl in a book, but I don’t remember reading a lot at school – I guess the studoious one – but I don’t rememebr that eaither. Maybe I”ll take a poll next tiem we bother to have a reunion. *grins*

    I think you’ve pretty much summed up what being a writer does – ah here’s my thought. :}

    I watched “The Rugrats Movie” with the kids last night and my daughter asks “Why does it have to be scary?”. I had to refrain from saying – “It’s the Dark time of the Soul” – and muttered something likely as incomprehensible as – that’s what plot is about. At ages 4.5 and 6.5 they aren’t quite ready for full fledge plots and sad endings. They want to know that the kids will be safe.

    The other question was – are the Monkey’s the bad guys? – which wasn’t really true – they were jsut the mischief makers – it was the hungery wolf that was the true bad guy – and there was of course the moral about siblings – but yes I was sitting with my children analaizing the plot of a kids movie. :}

    I’ve only recently started to do this.

      1. Yup. *grins* I haven’t read it yet, but we have the book and my husband is making his way through it. I’ll pick it up when he’s done. Or maybe next month. *giggles*

  5. I think that this is a really great post! I’m thinking of joining in for the next chain, I’ve never done it before, but I just started bloging so why not. But ya, I love the post!

  6. This was a great post. One of my favorite of yours, actually. I don’t make a big deal out of writing at school, so aside from that I agree whole-heartedly, especially about how writing matures you. It really does.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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