Friday, January 15, 2010

In the Beginning . . .

Hi! I've been wanting to share my thoughts about certain aspects of writing for a long time and talked about it with my new pal Kim! She says it sounds like a good idea, too. I feel that it is a very important aspect in a writer's life and we all need to (should) share this with each other.

It's about how I started out. It's a funny thing, really. I grew up with teachers telling me that I had a hard time comprehending the things I read. True. When I started college, I had to take a remedial writing class. Funny. I found out why I struggled with comprehension. Interesting. One would think that I would steer way clear from the stuff. Look at me now--a writer and loving it! Well, ahem, I love to read, too.

Okay. Sorry. My problem had to do with the way I was raised. I endured child abuse. I had learned how to mentally switch off. A coping mechanism. I turned to pretending. As a child, I found great escapism in creating stories and living them. I LOVED stories. My sisters and I would whip up plots and characters and settings that blew our minds and had us involved for hours--even weeks at a time. We would draw (yes, draw!) entire tales on paper about elves, horses, unicorns, mermaids--anything that snared our fancy. It was so much fun!

The magic of creation never left me. I wrote my first poems in 4th grade. My first novel when I was 11 (Shelly and the Two Stallions). It was as cheesy as I'll get out. I still have the book! I wrote another story after that (Thunder). Thunder was a wild black stallion. I started little stories here and there. Just whimsical--fun--at this point. Nothing serious. I wrote many poems in high school and then took a creative writing class. I fell in love. I was engaged. I was soon after married to writing and have never looked back!

I have a serious relationship with writing. I started my first full novel when I was 16 (1991). Proud of my first chapter, I handed it to my older sister to share with her my excitement. She handed it back, marked up with red ink. I was devastated! I remember throwing a fit and fixing it up and stashing it away. Well, I wrote several pages after that and began to illustrate enough pictures to fill an entire scene. I got bored and set the novel aside for a year. Then I would take it out and add another passage and set it aside for another year or so. This went on and on until one day, when I was 19, I decided to make a go of it. I finished it 5 years later. By this time, I was married to my husband and pregnant with our second baby!

It is over 700 pages long.

I had written it long-hand, and then transcribed it into my brand new computer when my baby was about 3 months old. Whew! I did tons of revisions and rewrites. I had fallen in love with the magic of writing and never stopped. I have written and completed many other novels since.

It wasn't until 2 years ago I decided to turn my hobby into a career. No, I am not published yet. I will be. I look forward to the time when I am. One step at a time. I am savoring the journey and will not have it any other way.

Since, I have attended a few writers conferences, several writers groups and found the coolest writing friends ever. You know, writing can be very lonely because there are really no 'co-workers'. There is no competition but within yourself, I've learned. But writers need writers.

I would love to hear how it all started with you--as far back as you can remember. You can post it on your blog and/or leave a comment here if you'd like. I can't wait to read what you have to say!


  1. I can't remember my childhood but I know since the age of twelve, I wrote stories. Nothing great. In fact, if I read the stuff today, I'd probably die laughing.

    When I left high school, writing as a career wasn't really an option. I never really liked writing anymore and took up accounting.

    When I stopped working however, I found stories within me that needed to be written and I wrote my first book in a few months. Unfortunately, my grammar sucked. Since then, I've joined writing groups, studied writing and made a career out of it.

    My latest project, a literary magazine.

    There you have it.

    Great blog.


  2. What I'd like to know is how that book ended up. Is it shelved? Being rewritten? Already finished? What happened to that 700 page first love story?

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your writing journey with us, Elizabeth. I love hearing how others came to be where they are right now. I've always wanted to write children's books, but I didn't find my courage until a few years ago.

  4. I loved your story of how you became a writer. I might get to sharing mine some time as well.

  5. Ditto what L.T. said! Hmm, that's an intriguing story ~ I think I'll answer it on my blog this next week.

    Thanks for sharing your story Liz. I'm SO glad you decided to give this "romance" another go!

  6. Thanks for sharing. It always fascinates me to learn how others got started. I'll put together a post about my start soon.

    I can't wait until you get published. It will be such an amazing experience. And then someday, I'll join you in that club.

    Here's to being a writer!!

  7. Wow, Ann! Wonderful! I think the writing just needed a small rest, but look how fare you've come! So happy for you!

    Hi Laura! Well, that story is shelved for now because I am working on Rock Star--but I did finish it and rewrote it and polished it to death. Though I feel it needs serious work still. :) Thank you for asking! One day I'll submit it to Scrawl!

    Shannon! How exciting, I'm so proud of you! I have written a few children's books as well! (I don't know how to critique them, tho!) :(

    Amber, I would LOVE to hear your story!

    Ali! You are welcome! I can't wait to hear your story, I would love to know how you came about to writing! ;)

    Kim! I think it's very special how you came about to loving writing! That's just wonderful. You are so sweet for me getting published, thank you! :D

  8. What a journey you are on. And how far you've come.

    One step at a time, right?

    I started writing at age 8 and never looked back. I have 41 journals of memoir-style insight to my life and those around me, although I've morphed into a fantasy and dystopian writer in the last few years. I also love reading and writing poems and essays and children's picture books (it's the storytelling Librarian in me!).

    Lovely, heartfelt post. And as I say, "Write on!"

  9. Terresa!

    Thank you so much for sharing your writer's life with me! How wonderful to hear your love transpire into something so wonderful!

    Love your saying!You are right, write on! ;)

  10. Elizabeth, you have a gift. A unique ability to touch the hearts and lives of others and kindle emotions long buried. I loved hearing your stories at critique--they swept me away.

    I, too, endured an abusive childhood. I first knew I wanted to write when I was in fifth grade. I have struggled my entire life to give myself permission to put pen to paper. Over the years a few things spilled out, but now I'm at a crossroads. I need to write what is really in my heart. I'm working very hard to believe that I have the ability and the right to do so.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are a wonderful person. I sincerely hope that one day you will be able to rejoin the critique group. I miss you!

  11. Hello Lori!

    I miss you too! You have impressed me with your sweet disposition and I really admire you for your strength in wanting to approach writing straight from the heart. I feel that is hard to do because of how intimate it is. I believe that you do have the ability to do so. With Heavenly Father's help, anything his possible! :)


Welcome to my blog! I love reading your comments, so please don't be shy and comment away. Also, because of the outrageous number of Anonymous Spam comments I've been receiving, I have opted from that availability--I apologize for any inconvenience!