Wednesday, March 21, 2012

8 Ways Being a Writer Time Travels Me Back to H.S.

Sometimes this industry brings me back in time. To a time in life when emotions ran high, math grades dipped low, and everything else seemed to fall somewhere in that elusive “waiting to graduate”  middle. Ah…high school.

Exploding Volcano
More often than not building a platform can feel like one huge science experiment. Half the time I have no idea what I’m doing. The other half I’m mixing social networking chemicals that surely aren’t supposed to be blended together. Waiting for results. For something to effervesce, pop, inflate, or explode. Funny thing is I’m the one who is regularly tempted to do all of the aforementioned.

Will You Sign My…
I have an embarrassing confession and it’s only coming out once. Here and now. In my early stages of blogging I actually had the gall (read: complete ignorance) to ask a published author I’d connected with to endorse my blog. My blog. Yep. So proud.

Anyhoo, now that that humiliation is out there (sheesh, this really is like high school) I’ll add that book endorsements remind me a little of getting folks to sign your yearbook. I remember some students had hundreds of lengthy notes on their yearbooks. Some endorsements exude the same attention and care. Makes me wonder about mine someday. Really hoping I don’t get the “see you around” version.

Ouch. Did you ever want to go to a dance with someone and they never asked? Or like someone who never reciprocated the feelings? Of course I’m not speaking from experience. Ha! Rejection = the one curse of every high school student must endure before graduation day.

Don’t think I need to make that link to writing. Most writers know exactly what I’m talking about.

I Am Free
There are times I need to decompress. These are my free periods. And during free period I head to FB and Twitter. And apparently so do a lot of other writerly folks.

Hey Look at Me Attitude
Would you believe we had mirrors that lined our high school hallways? The plight for popularity is at its prime (alliteration) in high school. Popularity and that all too recognizable hey look at me attitude. Everyone is out for attention.

When it comes to the writing industry seeking recognition doesn’t hold the same kind of negative connotation, but like high school it’s worth it to self-check on this one. Unless you want to be caught staring at yourself in all the hallway mirrors.

Cramming for Midterms and Finals
Studying the craft, preparing pitches, and knocking out a few Ks can evoke stress levels only reached during major test taking times of my life. SATs revisited.

There are times I literally have to sit down at the computer and verbalize the words, “Game on” before I sit to write.

What Did They Write about Me?
I went through a year where the librarian would hand me a permanent marker whenever I walked in the school library. Apparently some dude was having fun scrawling not so innocent messages about me in the mezzanine.

Hunting for my name to scratch out reminds me of the author’s amazon rank check. How many stars? How could she write that? Where’s my permanent marker when I need it? ;)

Uh, What Was I Just Doing?
I was a doodle master in Calculus. I still doodle. But now I call it painting, home projects, and the occasional clean sweep. Still is just as easy to lose focus on what I’m doing as it used to be back in the glory days.

Can you think of any ways being a writer is like reliving the glory days of high school?


  1. Oh my goodness, this is Ah-mazing! In some ways, at first glance, being successful at writing seems to be based on who you know, just like in high school, it was all about being popular. Still, in the end, hard work brings true success, in both places.

    Fun post! Reminds me that my 10-year reunion is this year...weird.

  2. I love this post! I ate it up. Nom, nom, nom.

    And I'm typing this comment I'm also talking to you! Double dose of Wendy!

  3. Such fun examples! I think I agree most with the want to be popular syndrome that hits many in school and out in the real world. Hate that--yuck. I always leaned toward the real people who shared the real them. (like you!)

  4. You guys had mirrors in your school??? lol That's kind of funny.

    I will say that writing is like high school because I FEEL so much. Just like then.

    Interesting post. ;-)

  5. What a clever post, Wendy.

    In high school I felt like I was constantly rushing. Rushing to get to class on time. Rushing to finish a homework assignment. Rushing to answer all the questions on a test before the bell rang. I find myself rushing these days, too, as I struggle to juggle all the items on my plate: writing, blogging, social media, promotion, etc. While I enjoy what I'm doing, the sheer number of things vying for my limited time can seem a bit overwhelming.

  6. Wendy, you are one of the most clever people I know. This was such a fun and true post!

    Writing is like P.E. Standing in line, waiting to be picked...waiting...waiting...:)

  7. These are awesome! Totally brought me back to high school days. :)

  8. Outstanding post, Wendy. Love your comparisons. Sometimes platform building feels like high school.

    For me high school was fun, but not the highlight of my life as it was for a few friends who still haven't moved on, and talk about it as if it were yesterday, and still act like it's our junior year - um yeah, this is many years later.

    Anyway, I was in the middle.

    I had friends who were popular, and friends who were unpopular. I had friends who were extremely smart, and friends who were not so smart - sports minded and not, and so on. I got along with everyone. I think I got through the years without any real dramas.

    I did get invited to many different parties and functions on all sides of the fence. I got glimpses of how different groups interacted and what they were about - some not so pretty.

    I do remember that one of the most popular girls always invited me along with their group...I now know this was because I had access to a car...yeah, yeah, I was used.

    You stirred up some great memories with your post.

  9. For me, high school passed by so fast! And writing's the same way, always moving forward, moving forward, with new projects to tend to.

  10. So Lindsay, the big question is...are you going to go? And I couldn't agree more about hard work bringing true success.

    And I got double Katie. What a blessing! And thanks for the mention over at your place today.

    Aw, Terri, that's cool of you to write!

    Yeah Jessica, I hear you about the intensity of feeling. Guess that hasn't gone away for me either.

    Keli, I bet you feel that as your book debut is nearing. I've been slammed these past few weeks so I can't even imagine (but it's a little fun to try).

    Jessica, Love it. (Oh, and thanks for the compliment.) But back to those classy gym clothes and sweating, then having to go back to class. :D

    Stacy, Sort of a scary thing to go back, eh?

    Loree, Sounds like you and I were in similar places in h.s. Still so thankful I went to a YL camp between my sophomore and junior year. Changed me.

    Joanne, Yep, always moving forward!

    Thanks for swinging by with your thoughts today!

    Kind of trip thinking back. Thinking I'm done with that trip. Good to be back in the present. :D

    ~ Wendy

  11. Mirrors lining the halls? Seriously? Talk about torture.

    Loved this post, Wendy. So true in every aspect.

  12. Hello, Wendy! I found your blog via Jody Hedlund's blog and so happy I stopped by.

    This was a great post - I had a unique highschool experience because I was home schooled for most of the time, returning to public school for part of my junior and senior years - but I can relate! As my life changes, and seasons come and go, it seems that I am always trying to work on my platform - whether in high school, in college, in my profession, in my MOPS group and now as I leap into the writing world.

    Your blog is very inviting - I am looking forward to connecting with you here.

  13. HA! This post cracks me up! Love the way you write...I'm not a famous author but I will be glad to endorse your BLOG! Hee!

    And yes, the rejection of it all. I've made that comparison in my head so many times. Here's our best, most beautiful work out there, like a baby shoved out into the world, and some agents have the heartlessness to reject it? What?

    But finally, as you mature as a writer, you see that writing is so subjective. When one agent can't get past page one, another might devour the whole MS in one sitting. If we perservere, we just might make it out of our "writing high school" days...Grin.


Taking Time

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