Where Writing Begins

Ann Aguirre remembers falling in love with the written word at the age of four. At eight she wrote a short story that won a national award for her school. Today she’s a bestselling author writing urban fantasy, romantic science fiction, apocalyptic paranormal, paranormal romantic suspense and post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult fiction. Whew!

She couldn’t have known in the beginning where her love of words would take her. The rest of the story about her early journey as a writer can be found in this post on Writer Unboxed. Reading it reminded me that dreams don’t become reality by accident. They must be identified, held down and hammered into shape.

Writing as a hobby is one thing, but without gritty determination and constant work, the dream to become a published author is nothing more than a vapor that slips away like a wraith through the forest of our imagination, and dissipates into fog on the horizon of life.

Wanting to be a writer isn’t the same as being one. Neither is thinking about becoming one, or hanging out with writers online and discussing writerly topics.

Ann Aguirre can pinpoint the time when she first realized she wanted to be a writer. I wonder how many of us can recall that moment when writing became more than a notion, more than a hobby, and we began actively reaching for our dream’s destination.

My moment? A special friend suggested I try writing a book. That conversation isn’t important to relate in detail, but I remember she thought it could be a biography. I preferred the anonymity of a novel. It was the kind of challenge that many people take up on a whim.

It wasn’t until I finished my second novel and discovered another was waiting impatiently, that I realized I was hooked on fiction. I didn’t want to stop, and I haven’t. I’m still not clear about the goal God has in mind for me, but I’m continuing to write my way into the future, preparing myself for wherever he leads.

What’s your story? Is there a specific time or incident that marked a change in your attitude about writing?

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7 thoughts on “Where Writing Begins

  1. I fall in both of these categories, Carol. I probably spent more time thinking and dreaming about being a writer than putting forth the hard work it takes to be one. I knew at age 10 I was a writer, but it wasn’t until my best friend told me I needed to write a book, that I really FELT I was a writer.

    Why is it that we need outside reassurance that we are what we are?

    Shari :-)

  2. joylene says:

    I was 17, babysitting up the road, sitting on the living room floor listening to the Rolling Stones, and writing random ideas and thoughts. And I remembering thinking how connected I felt to the world and my place in it. That was profound for a farm girl, I knew that, so I kept returning to write to recapture that feeling.

  3. L.S. Taylor says:

    It was a contest with the CBC. I realized that I wanted to tell stories to other people because I wanted to write books like all of the awesome authors I’d been reading. I was twelve. And I’ve pursued it doggedly ever since.

  4. Deidra Riggs says:

    I like this straightforward post. I’ve always written. In fifth grade, I won an award for my writing. I don’t know if that was the beginning as much as an affirmation that I am a person who writes. I believe in dreams and dreamers. But you are correct. Dreams don’t just happen.

  5. I’ve always loved writing more than talking. Always. I was encouraged to write but never took it seriously. It’s not been until later in my life that I’ve felt compelled to write, even if only in my journal. When my grandmother died I took a big apple box full of her poems, short stories and music to my home. It was going to be thrown out because no one else wanted it. I cried my way thru the box one night, finding all sorts of notes written in margins of songs and poems – – her personal thoughts, her love for God, her love of family, thoughts specifically written about me and others. It was a treasure. I decided then that if nothing else comes of my writing at least I will leave a treasure for my kids.

  6. Katt says:

    Carol,
    Several people have said to me, “I don’t know how you can write, I absolutely hate it.”
    I would rather write than eat. I realized my passion for words as a young child, perhaps 10 or 11. My childhood was a lonely existence, and I used to write stories which took me away from that loneliness and abuse. I loved the way I could capture feelings on paper. My love for writing has grown from a spark into an inferno. I like to equate my writing to a runner. People “train” for marathons. They don’t wake up one day and run 26 miles…..they work at it. Just like us……even though we love writing we still have to persevere……

  7. Thanks to each of you for sharing your thoughts. Words on paper (or computer) are easier for me to find than verbal ones. I’ve always liked to write, and I’ve enjoyed my non-fiction endeavours. But fiction offers a unique freedom. I’m so glad I discovered that!

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