The Home Row Blog

News, notes and ramblings
from the Home Row team


Writers Need to Write – A Guest Posting

Posted on July 6, 2011

By Kathryn Brill

July 6 2011

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but I’ve always been a little fuzzy on the details of making that happen. I always sort of assumed that there was a set path to becoming a writer, in the same way that there’s a set path to becoming a doctor or a professor, and that as I got older I’d know what that path was. Eventually, I figured out it wasn’t exactly that conventional.

Part of what makes becoming a writer such a strange process is that becoming a writer involves writing…which makes me an aspiring writer who is also currently a writer in the process of becoming a writer.  “Writer” is at once a description of my present identity, a journey I’m embarking upon, and a goal I hope to attain. It’s hard to know what to do with such a confusing label.

Another thing that makes becoming a writer confusing is that there are so many different types of writing out there. Both in print and on the web, there are a dizzying array of places and mediums where a writer could make her mark. Finding your voice in a world reeling with possibilities can seem like a daunting task.  Where to start? And once you’ve started, how can you share what you’re doing with other people, and keep what you’re working on from languishing in your saved documents?

For me, the solution to these problems has been to start blogging; there’s something about it that makes it uniquely suited to helping with these sorts of dilemmas. Blogs are versatile: they can cover a multitude of topics, adapt themselves to many styles of writing, and even allow for an easy change of styles or topics if need be. A blog is an easy platform to present my writing to an audience, opening up the possibility of hearing others’ reactions to my writing, and the even more exciting possibility of gaining readers I’ve never met. Most importantly, blogging gives me a reason to write even when I’m not feeling particularly motivated about writing. And as long as I’m writing, I’m growing in my experience, getting to know my writing style, and figuring out my process. What could be more useful than that?

I’ve had two blogs: one documenting my exploration of various coffee shops and parks in the New York City area and their suitability for reading in; the other a repository for my short fiction. In the process, I’ve learned that although I find almost all types of writing enjoyable, there are some that feel more “me” than others. I’ve learned that it’s difficult, but ultimately rewarding, to write on a schedule. I’ve learned that while my writing can twist, adapt and evolve based on the medium I’m writing for, I have a consistent style and voice that can always be heard. And last but not least, I’ve learned what it means to make writing a part of my identity, to say to people “I am a writer” and have something to back it up with. Blogging may not be the end of the road in this process of becoming a writer, but it’s been one of the most helpful first steps I’ve taken.

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What is the home row?

The home row is the center row of keys on the keyboard "A,S,D,F,J,K,L,;" When students are taught how to become touch typists (typing without looking at the keys) they begin with their hands resting on the home row. The left hand rests on the "A,S,D,F" keys and the right hand on the "J,K,L,;" keys. From this position the other keys can be reached.