ABCs of Writing (for Beginners)

Posted by on Oct 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

ABCs of Writing (for Beginners)

Dear Reader,

There’s something about beginnings that are intimidating. Maybe it’s the fear that whatever we’ve set out to do will fall flat, or be less than perfect. Maybe it’s that gut-wrenching dread that makes us feel as though something we’re excited and passionate about won’t connect with those around us. And maybe it’s loneliness—that notion of going into the unknown without the hand of a friend, soul mate or loved one to hold and to guide us. Apprehension. The fear of the dark.

One of the many things I learned in reading the labors of love that each of our contributing writers put forth in this series was that beginnings are anything but lonely. While every new poem I start feels like a challenge I face alone, and while every time I sit down to write I feel the weight of dwelling somehow tied within my own head, I’m one of a wonderful company of writers facing a new beginning. But now, as I sit to write even this, I’m armed with the tools and knowledge of 26 brilliant, inspired colleagues, who inspire me to go balls out, embrace my flaws honestly, breathe work into my life, and listen. This isn’t the first time I’ve faced a new beginning. But it’s the first time I’ll face one with so much insight and passion—and so many friends by my side. If that’s not going to make be a better writer overnight, it’s going to make me a stronger, more honest, less frightened one, and who can ask for more than that?

This project, spearheaded by the brilliant, talented Erin Ollila (who is the absolute best person anyone at any stage of her writing career can have by her side), has blown me away since its inception. I hope that as you have read each piece, you’ve found something that has resonated and inspired you. And that you now see the tribe of fellow writers you have surrounding you as you tackle your next beginning.

I’d like to send a huge, gracious hug and an emphatic “Thank you!” to Erin, each of our contributors, and to you. Without you to keep us motivated and inspired, none of this would be possible. Cheers to everyone who made this project possible, and who follow Spry on our journey.

So go forth, dear reader, armed with these torches of knowledge. Let everything you see inspire you to push a little harder, breathe a little more heavily, write boldly—and start today.

Yours in poetry,

Linsey Jayne

Linsey Jayne is a wave-headed poet with a penchant for jazz who received her MFA in creative writing at Fairfield University. Her writing has been published in such publications as The Standard-TimesThe Dartmouth-Westport Chronicle, and exactly.what.  She has served as the chief poetry editor for Mason’s Road, as well as the student editor for the Bryant Literary Review and the opinion section editor of The Archway. Linsey is currently at work on her first collection of poetry, entitled Idle Jive.


  1. This series is such a service to writers. Thank you for it and thank you letting me be a part of it.

  2. Bravo Linsey and Bravo to all the editors that contributed to the ABC project. While I did not read all of the essays, I admit to reading many of them. And each one helped me, left me with some little tidbit to hang onto. In all, they were words of encouragement, words of wisdom from one writer to many and for that I am grateful.
    Yes, we are a tribe – I’ve always loved that you coined that phrase. Must admit, I was ready to abandon the tribe and remain a lone warrior out on the plain – but your post today combined with the ABC posts have convinced me otherwise. I’ve turned my horse around and I’m galloping home.

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