Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Writing History

(new template! Feels a bit more fitting.)

Like most, I have had a dream to be a published novelist. Writing has been one of the only talents I have been aware and proud of since I was little. 

I remember, back when I was in about the third grade I was a shy girl (shyer than I am now) and didn't have much passion for anything. Then our class (of about 15) had a little writing competition. Just write about something in your life and I wrote about my puppy at the time, Hannah. I had no faith in myself, though I really wanted to win the trophy (a stuffed beaver doll). The time came and the teacher began to read out the winning story. I was so insecure about it that I didn't even recognize it was my own story!

That was the first sign to me that I might have something I am actually good at. Of course, at that age it didn't really click that I could do this for a living. At that age, you're mostly introduced into the world of being a doctor or a teacher. But so many things throughout my life kept bringing me back to writing.

When I was about eleven I discovered anime and then at about twelve or thirteen I discovered the world of fanfiction (through fanfiction.net). At first I wanted to write cause I was a typical fangirl with a Mary-Sue/Self Insertion character I wanted to have claim a bishie. But after really starting with my anime love YuGiOh and my fan-crush Tea (except for my one anime love (HIEI), I've always loved the female characters in animes) I noticed I was actually getting a fan base. 

Soon, I started taking it real serious. I covered different genres; romance, action, and slapstick humor. I went from different worlds (Naruto, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Danny Phantom, Harry Potter), created new worlds (the AUs) and kept getting popularity.

I was actually writing something that a lot of people were reading and enjoying.

But it still wasn't fully clicking that this was something I wanted to do. The thought was there, but for some reason it just wasn't obvious that I could try and do this for a living. There was talk about it, thoughts about it, but I don't think I ever proclaimed out loud, "I want to be an author."

Perhaps it was still insecurity. Perhaps I felt like I shouldn't be an author, it's not a "real" job. I do remember mom and dad speaking to me about it, that they felt like this was something I love. I think I might've even said I wanted to write a book. But I don't think I ever said "author".

Whatever it was, it just wasn't something that was ready to click.

Until I saw Eragon. 

I remember I had really enjoyed that first book. I remember that the author was so young and was already writing and doing something he really loved, and profiting from it.

And I remember how utterly disappointed I was in the movie. 

I complained the whole way back home. "If it was my book I wouldn't let Hollywood do that." or "It was such a good story, why didn't it get on the screen right?" of course, it probably had more of a whiny high-schooler tone to it. But moving on...

And mom asked me, "Well, why don't you make one yourself? You seem to like it. You talk about stories and writing a lot."

And I finally answered, "I will!" 

That was the for sure moment I made up my mind to try and be like Christopher Paolini. It has taken years, still far behind the man that actually got me to start doing something seriously, but I am on a more serious road in doing something that I hadn't realized been my dream for years.

Still moving slower than I would like, but I am obtaining so many years of experience. I am learning something new about myself, strengthening my writing, and meeting so many new people who are helping me succeed in this.

What about you? When and what got you to realize "this is what I want to do. I want to be an author"?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Write...

...when you simply don't want to.


Cause man, there are times I just DON’T want to write. I don’t mean a writer’s block, there are ideas there…but no drive to write them down. And it’s not just about my novel. I just feel lazy to do useful stuff. I won’t go and read and review blogs, write my fanfiction, write updates for my own blog, etc.

There is just simply a sense of laziness where I just feel like I don’t even want to pick up a pencil. The things on TV or YouTube just sound so much more intriguing. Even things that would typically inspire me to write just don’t shine like they would typically.

It’s like a whiny pre-teen saying “the world doesn’t want me to!”. Thank goodness, I realized instantly it was my own fault, but even that didn’t get me to writing anything.

So what to do when there is no drive to attempt to do any writing?

In truth, I’m not a 100% sure myself.

This round, I had to just let it pass on its own. Forcing myself to get into a writing mood, to think of a new post for the blog, even going and reading & reviewing….it didn’t work out. It certainly made me feel pretty bad about not doing anything, but even that didn’t move me enough.

It just had to happen when it was meant to happen.

But first a question; is it a real bad thing to not want to write?

At first, I would say “OMG YES” because it is emotionally taxing to not do your passion. I feel like I am missing out on opportunities. Deadlines and goals I had made for myself are slipping away. I’m being far too lazy for it to be beneficial.

However, there is another side to this.

Let’s look at it from a physical stance. Anyone who works out and does sports probably knows you gotta have at least one day of rest so you don’t damage your body. And your body can give you signs that it needs to stop. Perhaps this was my mind telling me it needed a break.

After all, you can’t look at the same thing every day and catch something new. A break just might be needed to find the things you were missing.

After this “lazy break”, I am finding new sides to my story, finding awkward things I had missed over, inspired to write about it in this post…and it is possible all of this is coming through because of stopping.

But, I will be the first to admit I don’t think I went about it the best way. I think I went a few weeks without any type of progression with my writing. If it was a Writer’s Block, yes it would stink, but it would feel more like I was sick. This, as a mentioned before, feels like I was just lazy and didn’t even try to become inspired.

Taking a break is one thing. Letting it work itself out isn’t that bad either. But I’m not sure if I made enough of an attempt to get over this lazy hump. I was simply too lazy to try.

So, in simple terms I always think it never hurts to try…even when you really don’t want too. Even just a sentence or two that you might scrap later, it is still something you did and tried for. If that is all you can manage that one day, well, you had a good shot!

I think it should be done, not because I am anti-lazy or having a pity-fest about my lack of writing, but because you never know what will be the thing to re-ignite the writing spark.

I’ll leave off with a quote from Writer’s Digest;

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or ten pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” -- Lawrence Block (June 1981)

Always try. I don’t think there is ever a loss to trying, but there can be great loss in not.