My Writing Journey, Part 1

One doesn’t choose to be a writer, it’s in you, but you do have to decide to write. Being a writer is part of me, it always was, but I didn’t always choose to do anything active about it. The road to writing regularly was bumpy, often blocked, detoured, sabotaged, scary, and sometimes impossible.

Even now, as in the last few months, there are times when I write next to nothing. I aim to change that, starting with this post. There are many reasons why I’ve been in what I call a ‘writer’s funk,’ but I’ll get into that in a later post.

For now, I’m going to share with you all how I got to where I am today. I called this post Part 1 because it will take several to get it all out. I don’t know how many but I would rather do this in sections than give you with a ten thousand word post.

It all began when I was a child. I’d like to say I always wrote. I wish I had hundreds of journals worth of childish thoughts and stories, but I didn’t write back then. I was capable of it, but things more powerful than the urge to write ruled my life. Fear and shame. Not fear of life or a person, just fear of baring my soul and shame when I did and was rejected. I tried several times, with diaries. After writing a few lines, I would seize up and put them away.

Opening up still fills me with dread. There was no significant event that started it. It was a mix of small childhood traumas that stifled me so much.

I was one of those kids who liked to make crazy things up. Fantastical stories with me as the star. A few times I tried to share these with friends and family.  My parents didn’t actively discourage me, but with three kids and jobs, they didn’t have time to ‘indulge’ me.

My friends were tolerant but more heavily grounded than me, so not particularly interested. All the girls my age were more interested in love stories, and the boys just wanted to watch cartoons and ride bikes. While I was imagining having a superpower or flying on a dragon, the other kids were busy being normal.

One of my brothers, who shall stay unnamed, but it’s the one I don’t get along with, had a different reaction. He made fun of me. Then his friends joined in. I won’t go into details except to say he liked upsetting me and succeed often. I valued his opinion above all others and he used that mercilessly. It wasn’t too long before I started keeping my stories to myself, even from the people who didn’t mock me.

I didn’t even want to write them down. Hence the started yet never finished diaries. What if someone read them? I would have died before letting anything see how weird I was. Now, all these years later, I don’t know what it was those boys said that made me feel so much shame, I only know the result.

Watching other girls writing their secret thoughts made me so jealous I could hardly stand it. I didn’t care what they wrote, but I wished to be like them. I wanted to be as brave as I thought they were.

I still made stuff up regularly, anytime I had a quiet moment. I kept it all to myself, for years. It took my mom pissing me off when I was a teenager so bad that I wrote her a letter to express my feelings before anything changed. That’s a story for next time.

As I stated above, I don’t know how many posts it will take me to tell my writing journey. I’m winging this one. Some posts may be short, others longer. There is also no schedule for when I’ll write them. I’m in the process of getting back to writing regularly so I hope to be very busy soon.

In my next post I’ll tell you all about how I started to embrace my weird and took a step closer, and many steps back from active writing.

Did any of you guys have problems with other people judging your creativity as a child? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Writing Update – March 7, 2017

I would like to say I’ve made a decision about what I’ll be working on, but that’s only somewhat accurate. What I know for sure is it’s time to work on my fantasy trilogy. Where the indecision comes in is what part I’ll do.

There are two choices. Revise the first book or write the second. I have the last two books partially plotted. The problem is I don’t want to do extra work. If I write the second, then revise the first, I could end up not using things I write. I could destroy a plotline or add something that requires a lot of change to book two or three.

However, I am almost terrified to come out of creative mode. I’ve been putting off revising several books because I’m afraid I won’t be able to get back into the making stuff up part of writing. Really it all comes down to fear of finishing. I know this logically, but I’m having trouble anyway.

So, I’m going to treat this as a challenge to myself. My tentative plan is to work on book one, and if book two takes over occasionally, that’s fine. If I’m honest with myself, I know if I start writing book two, I won’t stop until I’m done. Then the regret will set in, writer’s guilt will attack, and I’ll shut down. Or I’ll go on to book three and potentially screw everything up.

I wrote a few scenes from the two and three back in October and I know I’ll use them, but I think I should leave well enough alone.

Hopefully, I will stay on track. Discipline skills are a lacking in this writer! The desire is there, and effort will be forthcoming. I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress or failure. I might keep writing flash fiction during this process but I can’t guarantee I can do both. We shall see.

Wish me luck!



Finding Inpiration in Likely Places

I’ve always advocated finding inspiration in little things, odd things, unique things and not so obvious things. Basically I’ve always believed one can find inspiration in what is new or different to them. Then today I found my muse reacting in a not so offbeat place.

Okay, that’s a half truth. I went to an Art’s Festival in my city on Saturday. Obviously there was some pretty unique and off the wall stuff. Creativity abounded. Being that I write and live more in the made up places in my head than reality, this place clearly should have an effect on me. I enjoy going to shows like this one and try to attend any and all that come my way. So it’s not really new or different to me.

Except it is. There are always new painters, authors, bakers, woodworkers, sculptors of every variety, jewelry makers, glass blowers, and photographers. So each show I go to is only somewhat like the last.

I feel at home at things like this and I should expect to be inspired by them and their work. Except  I didn’t.

I went in wanting to find some cool stuff. I’ve been unable to write for over a month, with a little peekaboo from my muse here and there for the last couple of weeks. I know I’m slowly getting back to normal but bursts of writing ideas have been few and far between. I had zero expectations.

So I walked into the main exhibit hall and had to stand still for a few moments. There was something in the air. It was like creativity was exuding from all these people and hovering around waiting to be embraced.

Time lost meaning and I wandered from booth to booth in a haze of…something good. I don’t know how to explain it but I know I liked it.

The various artists must have sensed it because most simply said hello and left me alone. My eyes were on their wares but I noticed those knowing smiles. Not one tried to sell me anything until I walked through a second time. Then I was a little embarrassed because several brought up how I’d looked the first time they saw me.

One lady said she could tell she wouldn’t be able to reach me and another said she was afraid to break the spell I was under. A photographer said he’d been the same way earlier in the morning when everyone was setting up and he checked out his competition. All awkwardness fled and I kept wandering and chatting. I must have walked through each booth (almost two hundred of them) seven or eight times.

I spent more money than I planned to but not more than I should have. My husband and I are going back today so I will probably end up with more stuff.

When I went on Saturday it was because between recovering from back surgery and the stupid neuropathy in my left toes I was afraid I wouldn’t make in through the whole thing in one day. I always have to walk through a million times while trying to talk myself out of buying things I know I’m going to end up getting anyway.

If I’m honest with myself I’ll admit I don’t really need to go back today. I overdid it yesterday but I did manage to see everything. The practical side (which is minor) of me says stay home and rest and save money. The rest of me says screw it, this thing is only once a year and I know damn well there are at least three more (big) things I want.

In all fairness my husband loves art and didn’t get to go on Saturday and we’re taking a friend I haven’t seen since my surgery with us. So practical me can shut it. I’ll post pictures of my goodies soon.

Hopefully the inspiration will keep coming. Now I’m afraid I expect too much!

Sidenote: I always gripe about not being able to write but I’ve noticed the last few non-regular posts have been lengthy. I’ll stop complaining soon but I still miss fiction.