On Becoming A Writer

The other day on the livejournal of SJ Maas she talked about how she became a writer. It was a highly mystical experience for her which you can read here and when I read it I thought about how I decided that I wanted to be a writer and I couldn’t come up with anything–I still can’t. I just think that I always have been a writer. My earliest memory of writing would be when I was in grade two or three and we had these ‘journals’ in which we were supposed to talk about our day and such but I didn’t write about that. I wrote stories.

All stories had a little girl in it and they were all named after me and they all were my age. In one journal I wrote a story about faeries but never finished, I wrote a story about a seal getting lost in the greater Toronto area which I did finish. Reading them over now they’re quite childish but show incredible imagination (in my humble yet biased opinion) but the writing didn’t stop there.

When I was in brownies (age 7) I wrote a story about a girl who went into a box in her backyard that led to another world where the sky was orange and the grass was pink and it was completely deserted. In grade 5 during March break I went to this day program at the local chapters and we wrote and illustrated and published a book. Mine was about a penguin who had gotten lost and was found by a young girl (me). In grade 4 or 5 at school there was a writing club where we would gather in the library and write. At the end of the program we got a short story bound up.

I will be the first to admit that it was a rip off of a book that I was reading–most of my stories were copies or homages to other published works but there was one story in grade 4 or 5 I think where we were placed in a group and we could make up our own stories and my group came up with a story about Cinderella who lived as we know she lived but had a boyfriend and dumped him…..I could go on and on.

For me, writing stories I suppose has always been preferable to the real world. I was bullied a lot and reading and writing was a way for me to get away… I read the babysitters club books and I yearned to have such a close knit group of friends and by reading the books faithfully I felt that I belonged. By watching movies with happy endings I could see a world where people aren’t petty and mean and rude and horrible, but are kind and nice and where good always wins out.

Writing was a salvation for me, and now I write I suppose because I have so many stories in my head that are just bursting to come out. The ultimate dream is to become published and write for the rest of my life–but if I have to write just for myself and my close friends and family…well, there are worst ways to express oneself.

And in terms of how I do write in case anyone wants to know, when I think of a story idea, the entire story comes to me at once. It’s like I can see the entire plot with all its twists and turns and all the dialogue, it’s all there in my head and then it’s gone in a flash and I spend ages trying to reconstruct it…sometimes I’m successful but more often than not I lose interest…and sometimes losing interest is hard.

I have this one story that I abandoned after 75k words (out of a potential 350k story) and I still think of the characters every now and then. It was based off a fanfiction story that I had written, and I wanted to make it original that this new story took shape but it went in such a direction that I had no idea where it was going. And even now, two years later (roughly) I still think of the characters…they want me to write them but I just can’t find a voice for them. That project is on one of the many back burners that I have going but I know that I will never let that story go….

….either way I’m a writer at heart and I suppose that even if don’t get published one day (which as I have said before is the penultimate dream) I’ll continue writing just for me, my family, my friends and for the fun of it. ^_^ I mean, the voices have to go somewhere right?

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