Monday, April 20, 2009

Blog Chain: What made you start writing? When?

It's my turn to start the weekly blog chain so here's my question:
(this is a selfish one since I am dying to know other peoples stories!)

What made you start writing? When?

This is super easy for me since it was not so long ago. Now, before I tell you the real deal, I must say how hard it is for me to put this out there knowing many people will laugh. Not at the fact that I started writing but the trigger. But since I'm feeling especially honest today I thought I'd share the entire story.

I read Twilight (yes go ahead and scoff if needed) at the end of last summer and finished the entire series within that week. Let's say it was the end of August 2008. It was somewhere in between New Moon and Eclipse that I knew I needed to start writing. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I was truly blindsided by the alarming desire to write my own story. Something within told me I could create something that might keep people up at night the way these books were doing for me. I lost an entire week of my life thanks to the Twilight saga and that my friends is when I knew I was going to be a writer.

The reason I don't like to share this little tidbit is because I don't want people getting the idea I was inspired to be like someone else. No. I wanted to try and give the gift back the world, that I'd been given so many times before. Stories that make you lose sleep and want your kids to, make you skip cleaning the bathroom for a week, fail a test because you didn't study or forget to eat. I adore Twilight but I don't want to be Stephenie Meyer. I want to be me. I sure as hell would like to enjoy her success though.

I listened to that not so subtle voice in my head and started to write. Which by the way if you have read my older posts you know I just happened to have bought a laptop not long before this hit for a blogging job I ended up quitting. Something I like to say is serendipity! Anyway, I wrote and wrote like mad for two months and ended with 102,000 words. I was shocked that I'd actually done it. I'd written a novel, and a long one at that. I edited and edited and edited and edited and ended another two months later with 92,000 words which may soon be 90,000. I "cut the fat" as I've heard it called.

Before I wrap this up (I actually have to go revise the work I speak of) I should tell you before that day in the midst of reading Twilight at the age of 29, I never had even the slightest bit of desire to write anything more than an email or assigned blog post. I liked my English courses and did well but it was never my thing then. I was an artist for as long as I can remember, the painting and drawing kind then I became a visual artist when I found a career in visual merchandising (dressing mannequins, doing window displays etc.) So creativity is nothing new to me but writing was just something I wanted no part of. Even my mother told me I should write back when Harry Potter came out and I was over the moon with it. I laughed and said never.

Yes, I have officially eaten my words. I truly feel that I've found my calling and its no coincidence it was this late in life. I had other things to experience, things that would shape and form me to who I am today - to help me write. So in the span of eight months I wrote my first novel, edited it, queried it and have had one request to read a partial that I could resumbit with changes...not too shabby. It's way more than I dreamed of when I started typing away on this trusty green laptop. And this is only my first shot.

So thank you Stephenie Meyer for taking a risk and giving the world a story that did more than just entertain me. Pretty interesting she was also 29 and a stay at home mom when she wrote her first novel.

Be sure to swing by the rest of the awesome bloggers on this blog chain.

Tuesday: Lin Wang - Teen Writer
Wednesday: Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom
Thursday: Girl With a Notebook
Friday: From Elysium


Icy Roses said...

Oh, dear, if you feel ashamed, then I should feel doubly ashamed. Each stage of my writing has been inspired by books of some sort. Other people's writing has always been an inspiration to me. Although Twilight wasn't the series that did it for me, haha (I do love it, though). I think most writers will say they began sometime when another book moved them enough to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?). This is a great question! I can't wait to write my response. Too bad I'm not until Friday, lol.

beth said...

I've wanted to be a writer since elementary school. I can remember specifically a story I wrote in fifth grade that was like 10 pages long, and I went around the school telling everyone I'd written a book... :)

Lady Glamis said...

I am so happy to hear that those books made you want to write. That is wonderful!

I have wanted to be a published author since I was 10 years old. I went to college and majored in Creative Writing just for that reason. I wanted to get my Masters, but got married and had a kid instead. Ah, such is life. I'll get my Masters one day.

And luck will have it, mind you, that since my life's goal has been to get published, I probably won't make until I'm about 65. I certainly hope it doesn't take that long!

I like your story and glad you shared it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Don't be ashamed. Harry Potter led to my realization to write. I think all writers became writers when reading books. They enjoy the tales and want to contribute something in return to the literary community.

Anyway, my own response is up now on my blog!

Kim said...

We are all myseriously inspired by things that are unexpected...
I believe that is destiny.