The first week was a lot of reading and copying content. Like Day Four said: you might wonder what you will learn by just copying content.’ I was indeed wondering what I signed up for but I kept going.
On the last day of the week, there was an actual assignment. Write down why you write. No further information about how, what, why, or how many words. Just write. And so I did.
Here is my first assignment. Tell me your thoughts (and bear with me, English is my second language)
Why I write
While I stare at a blank canvas, trying to come up with an interesting philosophical story, build up perfectly in the style and grammar of a professional with a touch of humour, nothing happens. The flexible line ‘Why I write’ dances a passionate tango in my head, with the clunky line ‘Fear of failing’. It is not uncommon for many writers and illustrators to fear the white canvas. As if that first word or that first stroke matters so much that if you start wrong, you will destroy your whole universe and beyond. This is ridiculous, I tell myself. I have written many travel journals, blogs, and books. I should be able to do this.
I started writing when I got my first diary at the age of six. I scribbled almost unreadable: ‘I want a cat’. From that point on, my writing grew together with me. After I finally got a cat, I started writing travel journals, diaries, pregnancy journals, baby books after my children were born, funny blogs with a touch of sarcasm, and eventually picture books and an autobiography.
I even wondered, what if I had to choose between writing and illustrating. I certainly love doing both because I have this unstoppable need to pour out my creativity on paper. Too many stories in my head that I need to write, and too many images that I like to create. Even in the middle of the night, when I’m trying to sleep, my head keeps spitting out new ideas. There were moments when I wished to be a ‘normal’ person who could switch off their brain and just enjoy life without creating some weird story about a fly that happened to land on my pie.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was the answer to the question of this paper. I write because I see stories in every little moment; a moody bird, a traveling spider, or a lazy ant. I write because I want to remember the moment; graduation, a sunset, or a road trip. I write because I want to be heard; venting my opinion when nobody is listening, the injustice that was done to me, or the message I want to tell.
We have a saying in Dutch, ‘Wie schrijft, die blijft’, which translates as ‘the one who writes, will never be forgotten.’ In a world where you can easily be swallowed by the masses, I want to be different. I want to be remembered and want to stand out from the crowd. Writing does that all.
Want to know more about the picture books I published?
Click on the links and find out for yourself.