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!