Congratulations! You’ve almost made it. At midnight tonight, Camp NaNoWriMo will officially end until the July session, and just a few short weeks from now the 2014-15 school year will also come to a close.
Looking back on the year, I hope you’ve been able to find time throughout the year to work on your own writing projects along with school, sports, or any other activities you might be involved in. More importantly, though, I hope you have been able to grow as a writer, whether it be through reading this blog or simply motivating yourself to push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
Canadien poet Margaret Atwood once said, “Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy — which many believe goes hand in hand with it — will be dead as well.” As writers, it is important for us to realize that our craft is not a God-given talent; it takes time, dedication and motivation to become great.
While I can’t know if you have taken the time this year to read my blog posts (though I sincerely hope you have), I hope that, reading this now, you are able to reflect on the time you have spent on improving, polishing and shaping your writing this year and in years past.
I also hope that, even as you continue on in the real world, you are able to keep writing and, every once in a while, take a step back and appreciate your talent. You have the ability to create entire worlds using only your pencil and a piece of paper. Such a talent should be nurtured and cherished, for it can be used to bring people together, inspire younger generations and amuse the older ones; it has the power to do anything you, as the writer, want it to do.
So, while I may have spouted various techniques and tricks throughout the year about how to become a better writer, my last piece of advice to you is only this: whatever you may do and wherever life may take you, don’t forget to keep writing.
“‘Bye girls,’ Colby said, coming over and giving us the usual quick squeeze before we headed out. ‘See you next week. Mind your mama!’
“We laughed. ‘We will,’ we hollered back, already making our way back to the car. Our feet scraped along the gravel driveway and through the long, green grass as we walked, the two of us lost in thought about the anxieties and opportunities we might face in the coming months.
“The school year would bring its own challenges, I knew, and my focus would no longer be solely on the barn. Still, I knew that nothing would change how content I felt at the barn, or the friends I had grown closer to (both human and animal) over the summer.
“Getting into the car, I smiled, buckling my seat belt and watching as we drove away. Some obscure song played on the radio in the background, but I wasn’t listening. It was true, I decided; I didn’t know what was to come. But that was okay. The best I could do was treat life like I would a horse, just as Colby had taught me to do: ride my bones.”
By Nicole Schroeder