Thursday, December 16, 2010

The (Writing) Story Of My life

Since I am a storyteller, I thought that I'd share a story with you. But this is a true story. It's the story of my writing life. I always wonder how writers get started with writing, when they started to write novels, how young they started etc. So, I figured, if I share mine, that might prompt some comments about others.

Now, I've been a reader as far back as I can remember, and that pretty much goes for writing as well. I wrote in those spiral notebooks all the time. The first completed “Book” I wrote was an eight page book about me and the kids on my street. (I wish I still had this, but in all of my many moves, it got lost along the way.) I remember a group of friends I hung out with and one of them always loved my stories. At the end of fifth grade, this group and I exchanged presents since we'd be moving on into middle school, so I wrote a bunch of little stories for the girl who liked mine.

Throughout middle school as well I wrote. In 7th grade English class, a lot of our projects included writing. Such as we had to write a short mystery and read it in front of the class. When it was my turn my teacher commented that it ought to be good because I had creative ideas. In that same class, we had to write and illustrate a children's novel. (That one, I still have!)

Then around that time, my writing evolved into poetry. My first poem I wrote about the loss of a little girl who was our neighbor. I actually never showed the poem to anyone, I stuck it in my headboard and my mom found it, and showed it to the mother and grandmother of the little girl.

Then around 8th grade, my best friend and I wanted to be singer/songwriters. That's when my writing evolved once again to song lyrics. Before I left Texas for Arizona, I remember reading a story in a group of people. I think it was called Young Writers Reading, and it was teenagers who wrote books, stories and poetry.

Throughout my preteen and teenage years, I was happy when my mom bought me a bunch of notebooks, the bigger sized, the better, and a package of pens. In my room I created story after story. Some finished, some not.

I actually have an ex to thank when it came to writing a full length adult novel. Though I'd written a few stories here and there, most of my writing was poems and song lyrics for awhile. But my ex decided to write his own novel in 2003, and I realized I wanted to write novels.

So I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote! The book was titled “Strangers” and it took me seven months to write. I don't recall the word count now. I finished it and had a few people read it. (Mostly family and of course, they told me it was good....) I started writing a second and was 40k words into it when life (and depression) got in the way.

I love the power of the written word. I love stories. I love to read, and I love to write them. Reading and writing have gotten me through a not so stable life. Writing helps me get my feelings out.

So that's my story.

I hope that everyone is having a great December. Now is the time to think your goals for 2011, whether they are writing, or non.

But most of all, enjoy the holidays with the ones you love most.


Brenda said...

Thanks for posting this!
Wow, you've been a writer most of your life. Not me. I've always been creative. I'd make up stories and fantasies in my head, but would never write them done because frankly, that took up too much energy, lol.
The urge to write has always been in the back of my mind, but it wasn't until I was 38 that the real--can't deny it--urge to write struck me.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Hi Nikki: I've written all my life too. When I was 8, my dad gave me my first diary. I know, that probably doesn't count. But I wrote in a diary every year and didn't stop until I was in my 30's. Why I quit is another story, but it lead to my life long love of the written word. Five years after having my 2nd baby, I started wanting to do something with my life. I had no idea what it was, but everyone around me seemed to be great at doing SOMETHING. I wanted to do soemthing great too! My husband encouraged me to write a story, I was always making stuff up on the fly for the kids at bedtime anyway. And so I did. Which led to another written story, and another. Now, if I don't get some writing time logged in during my dad, I feel incomplete - like I do when I don't work out. Plus the friends I've made in the writing world are people I'd never trade away!

Tabitha Blake said...

I love to write. It is an outlet for me. I have always had a creative side, writing, drawing, crafting. They bring me great joy. Like you I started writing very young but didn't get serious about it until about 3 years ago. I have always loved books. Most kids cringed when the teacher handed them a book to read and do a report on but not me. Books have been important to me sense I was a kid. My mom took me to the library a lot as a kid. I would walk out with all the books I could carry and plow through them as fast as I could so we could go back and get more. So it was no surprise to my family when I told them I was going to write a book. I remember my grandmother reading all the time. That was all she did. She said tv as a waste of the mind. She also said never to throw away a book that they were percious gifts to be cherished. So reading and writing has alway been a big part of my life. Great blog!

Nikki said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

I feel so blessed and fortunate that I have a husband who fully supports my book habit- reading and writing. As a stay at home mom to our son, I also get the chance to work on my passions. I am surrounded by books- whether I'm reading, writing, and soon to be running an online bookstore. I can't imagine my life without them.