"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wait…How did I get here?

I figured today I would talk about how I got into writing. I’m sure everyone has their own story about how they suddenly went “Hey wait! I could do this writing thing!” and this is mine. :)

When I was a kid, I had this great big overactive imagination and a huge time love of stories. In fact, most nights I would fall asleep to crafting my own in my head. Here’s the hitch. I didn’t have any love for books. (This is where you say “What were you thinking?” ) I know right! But I digress.

As a kid I only knew that school told you that you had to read these crappy classical stories for homework or summer reading and I hated being forced into anything. In fact most of the books they required us to read I found as boring as watching paint dry. :/ Johnny Tremain…anyone?

Anyway I would fall asleep making up stories for tv shows that I loved. My own little kid version of fan fiction I suppose. But as I got older – third year in college in fact – I finally found that there were stories out there that were amazing to read all on their own… without being made to read them. Harry Potter ringing a bell? :D It was all downhill from there.

I ended up minoring in writing in college but for some reason it never clicked that there were actually people out there who make a living as fiction writers! I tried a newspaper internship for a small town paper but it wasn’t for me. (I'm way too opinionated...I know, I know. You say that's really hard to believe. :p) So life went on. I kept reading but the writing was left by the wayside. Eventually I graduated, got married, had kids, etc. And it wasn’t until after my second little one was a toddler that I stumbled upon another amazing series of books and thought “hey I could do this too!”

I picked up a pen and haven’t looked back.
So without making this post any longer than it already is….How about you? How did you figure out that you could actually do it too?

And the IFTD - because I heart them.


Catherine Stine said...

I was a painter who showed work in galleries, and always, always writing on the side. I assumed that I would publish a picture book first, since I was an artist. Not so, my first published work was middle-grade fiction. My second, YA. You really never know!

Holly said...

I was teaching Kindergarten, and my daughter was working on her first book. It got me thinking. (My dad was a great story teller) and the next thing I knew I had a story idea and began writing. The story threads grew and grew and I kept writing. My daughter who is working on a PHD told me my writing was good enough according to the classes she had taken and I kept writing. Now it is published. I had no idea I could write.

C.M. Villani said...

Cathy - that is great! Why middle grade fiction just out of curriosity? Something specifically about that genre or did the story just come to you?

Also but what got you started writing? Way in the beginning? What made you want to start?

Holly - I love the fact that your dad was a great story teller as well. :) I guess it runs in the family! huh? Do you like having that incommon with your dad and your daughter? :)

Kelly Hashway said...

I remember being in middle school and thinking, "I want to write a book." I read all the time. I even got eye strain from it and my parents had to hide my books for a while. But anyway, I sat down at my computer (the ancient thing it was back then!) and I wrote a book, trying to mimic the style of RL Stine since that's who I was obsessed with at the time. Well, I wasn't RL Stine. The book was one never-ending paragraph. I figured I make paragraphs and chapters when I finished. It was about a shark attack, and oh yes, the shark was someone's pet who was trained to attack. Great story, right? Well, I hung up my writing shoes for a while until I was twenty-five. Then I got serious about writing and took courses to improve my craft.

C.M. Villani said...

Kelly, Did the pet shark have a name? :) Just kidding. that's great! RL Stine was the bomb! When I was a high schooler I was big into writing poetry (yeah I was very dramatic back in the day...yeah who am I kidding? I still am!) Anyway, I had whole journals full of it but it wasn't any good just like you. But I guess we should chalk things like that up to being our first baby steps into the writing world.


Debra Ann Elliott said...

I started with pen to paper when I was 15. I never knew why. All I knew is I wanted, needed to write. I found out through genealogy research it was in my blood. I haven't stopped nor will I.
Great post.

C.M. Villani said...

I love history, Debra and family histories even more! It gives you a closer intimacy than just the stuff that is written in history books. And I’m sure finding that type of history in your own family tree must have been a really fun discovery.

The love writing at a young age and not knowing why seems to be something we share. For me, it was more of the actual art in carving out the lush, overly-romanticized words onto the paper with a thick inked pen. I don’t know why but I always loved the feel of the pen running over a blank page, swirling around into cursive letters. It was a thing of beauty!

Anyway thanks for the follow! And sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment. This weekend was a doozy. :)

Julie said...

You made me laugh with Johnny Tremain. That's a name I (thankfully!) haven't heard since the 7th grade. I still don't know how I finished the book.

I really enjoyed reading this post, as I also used to make up stories about tv and book characters in my head before I went to sleep at night. I never told anyone about it as I figured it was silly. It took me MANY years, but I finally started writing the stories in my head down, and I realized how much I loved doing it. Now I wish I had started sooner!

Great post! :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I love to read how people have found their writing path. As for me, writing a book has always been on my bucket list and when I quit my corporate job and found a pocket of time while the eldest kiddo was in school, I decided I had run of excuses to delay doing it. :)

C.M. Villani said...

Julie - That was exactly how I was when I was younger. I never told anyone about it because I thought it was just a silly pasttime. I never thought "Hmmm...Maybe I could write these stories down!" I totally wish I started sooner as well.

Sam - That was when I made my first steps toward actually doing it as well. It was after I had my second kiddo and the first was in school.

Only I went back to a part time job which totally cut back my momentum during the day. And that was why I ended up staying up unti 2 am most nights that first year, sitting infront of my computer. Much to my hubby's dismay.

Nicole said...

I love Mumford. It sounds like spring to me. I wonder why that is...

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