I don’t know that I can pinpoint an exact catalyst for becoming a writer. It seems that I’ve been creating and telling stories my whole life. I do know that the idea that I could write actual books with my name on the covers came in my teens.
It didn’t start with books, obviously. First came poetry. Oh my, was it some terrible poetry! It was trite and sappy or it was trite and dark. I guess it was the primary outlet of my teenage angst.
From there, I dipped my toe into the ocean of short story writing. I was at least marginally better at that, as it was essentially what I’d already been doing without actually writing stuff down.
It was inevitable, however, that I would turn to full length novels. I wrote my first one longhand on notebook pages. It was awful. It was derivative of every movie I had ever seen and every book I had ever read and I tried to cram so very much plot into it that there were inevitably huge holes and forgotten lines. My characters were either stereotypes or wooden.
Still, this is the book that bit me. I let friends read it, and, friends being friends, they all loved it and clamored for more. It was my freshman year of high school, and my notebooks and pages got handed around school.
I got my first typewriter for Christmas that year. I banged away at that thing every single day for hours at a time. First, I typed up that first book. Then I got started on a sequel. During my sophomore year of high school, I would type up around ten pages or so each night. Those pages got clipped together and numbered, because in the morning I was passing the “chapters” around to those who were reading it, and I gathered them back together again at the end of the day.
It was my first real taste of what it was like to write for an audience. I still have some of those stories around here somewhere. That second was still awful, but it was awful in completely different ways than the first, so that was progress I suppose.
Today I’m still fairly sure some of my writing is awful and I struggle with imposter syndrome a great deal (as I’m sure all writers do at some point), but I try to hold onto the confidence of that teenager, handing out pages to her peers in search of any scrap of validation and the confirmation that this is what I was meant to be.
Happy Friday, Readers! I hope you have a grand weekend.