For many aspiring writers, it can be difficult to decide what style of writing you want to devote yourself to. To be completely honest, I’m currently struggling with this myself. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to write, whether it be poetry, prose, plays, etc. However, it wasn’t until recently that I began to think about writing as a serious hobby, or even profession. For many years, my goal was to become a screenwriter/play-write. I felt that I had talent in that area and could potentially be successful in that field. The only problem is, whenever I would go to write down my idea for movies or plays, I would write them in prose, as if I were writing a novel.
Naturally, I then thought, “Why don’t I become a novelist?” I thought of a few ideas, sat down to write, and quickly realized that my attention span is too short to write a novel. How about short stories then?
Finally, a medium of writing in which I found actual success. In my spare time, I wrote dozens of short stories and pieces of flash fiction. After many weeks of editing and re-reading, I finished a story called, “A Thousand Words.” Because I was so proud of this piece, I submitted it to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and was awarded a Silver Key! However, as I was lying in bed that night, I realized that, although I may be good at writing short stories, it doesn’t make me happy. I then turned to a style of writing that I have loved for many years: poetry.
This is where my whirlwind story ends. For the past year or so, I have been writing poetry whenever I feel moved by the weather, a school crush, or just something that inspires me. Unlike screenwriting, I don’t see my amateur poetry ever leading to a profession or a major published work. I like writing poetry because it allows my thoughts to become something tangible, which in turn helps me to make sense of my often crazy life. In the future, however, I will most likely abandon poetry and commit myself to a completely different style of writing, and I’m okay with that.
Returning to the topic of this piece, “discovering what type of writer you are,” I offer one simple piece of advice: don’t put yourself into a box. Don’t forget that writing is a creative medium; it’s unrestricted and non-confining. If, like me, you have trouble deciding on one style of writing to pursue, try them all! If you have already committed yourself to one style of writing, try something new every once in a while. Your experience as a writer will be benefitted, and you may discover something new that you didn’t even know you liked. I know that this may not have been the advice that you were looking for and, of course, you don’t have to listen to anything I just said. Wherever your writing may take you or whatever style you chose to write, just remember: writing is free, in all senses of the word.