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John Kespert
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John Kespert   My Press Releases

Learning To Love To Write

Published on 8/8/2018
For additional information  Click Here

Learning To Love To Write

     While growing up I got to spend summers with my two sisters and six cousins on Cape Cod, in an old house that my grandfather had bought so his two daughters and their children would have a place closer to the beaches during the hot summer months.

    In that old house we had no television, no phone, and most of the time were not even able to listen to the radio because the nearby coast guard station transmitted morse code mesages that drowned out what other radio stations broadcast. But being without those electrical devices never bothered us because we could get to the beach on most days, and at other times play board or yard games. And we also did a whole lot of reading, borrowing books from nearby libraries, or buying them from second hand book stores.

     I loved reading, but for me that wasn't quite enough. I also started writing my own stories in notebooks. I did it for my own enjoyment, and had no intention of showing them to anyone else. But with 9 kids in one house, and sharing my tiny bedroom with its single bunk bed with one of my cousins, eventually somebody came across my handwritten stories.

     That cousin enjoyed reading what I'd written, so he shared it with the others. My secret endeavor was no longer a secret, and my cousins insisted that I write more stories for them to read.

    If my sisters and cousins were going to be the ones reading my stories, I decided to have fun by inventing a fictional family that had remarkably similar names and character traits to those of my extended family, with any resemblance to them being entirely intentional. As you might imagine, those stories were a bit hit with them.

    As much as I enjoyed creating those stories back then, I came to realize they were not crafted as well as I would have liked. I took to reading books about effective writing, and in my senior year of high school took an advanced composition course from a teacher who did not accept anything less than our best effort when we turned in our papers. She once let me know she would give me a zero on any composition I turned in that didn't show that I'd done revisions to correct things she knew I could do better at. I couldn't settle for getting a grade of 80 when that teacher knew I was well able to do what was needed to warrant a 90 or better.

     As with any skill, learning more about effective writing from books and teachers has helped me become better at doing it now than when I first started during those summers way back in the 1960's. But it was good that I got started back then. We all have to start at some skill level, and if we find we like doing something, and have a measure of talent in doing it, then we ought to study so we can learn to do it better and better. And we ought to put what we learn into practice consistently. That is the only way we'll be able to overcome the shortcomings that we may not even be aware of when we start.

   Thank you for taking the time to read this account of how I got started with my writing, and how I've (hopefully) gotten better at it. Do you have something you enjoy doing? If you do, you might want to learn from books or online lessons or good teachers on how to do it better. The more we learn about how to do things well, then the more we are going to enjoy doing them, and the more that others will enjoy and benefit from what we do.

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