My writing buddy Jo has a post up about the first time she realized that she wanted to write stories. It got me thinking about my own first writing efforts and the meandering journey I took before I got serious about writing.
I don’t know when I decided that I wanted to be a writer. It was, I suppose, a natural progression from being a voracious reader to wanting to write stories of my own–or even just rewrite the endings of stories I thought the author had messed up, heh.
The earliest stories I remember writing all featured teenaged girls with names like Trudi and Randi and Debbi(e). All of these stories opened with the protagonist staring at herself in the mirror, which gave me the perfect excuse to describe eye color, hair color, build, complexion, outfit, accessories, shoes, tights, jewelry and makeup (think glitter and neon; I was an 80s child after all). These “stories” tended to fade out after the arrival of some annoying, noisy sibling or drama-queen friends.
I then moved on to the brave waif stage, which starred girls named Regina and Destiny, all orphans and heirs to great wealth and high positions. In one memorable story (also abandoned after a chapter or two), my heroine Destiny endures… wait for it!… a horrifyingly chilly carriage ride.
If only I had sent a pack of ravenous rabid werewolves after her. That would’ve given her something to really get concerned about.
Fast forward to high school, when I wrote an epistolatory story about the eldest of five adventurous sisters, pretending to be this mousy countrified little noble, when in reality she was trying to prevent the king’s assassination and falling a little in love with a prince. (Yes, even then my stories had to have some kind of romance).
At that point, writing seriously was something that kind of floated in the ether of the vague far-off future. It wasn’t a career plan. It was something to fit around the edges of my life–IF I had the time.
Then came college and marriage. Unemployed, I looked around for jobs for a bit and decided what I really wanted to do was to just write. I didn’t want to go to graduate school; I wasn’t the least bit interested in a 9-to-5 job (oh, the mornings, those detestable mornings!); and while working in a bookstore, or at a library, or as a teacher would’ve been fun, making up stories and entertaining my readers was even better. Luckily, my husband was ultra-supportive. He gets lots of credit for not blinking an eyelash and saying, “Sure” when I told him I wanted to stay home and write (all the while he was delivering pizzas to pay our bills). So I joined a crit group learned the difference between the vignettes and real stories, participated in NaNoWriMo, and here I am, with three novels under my belt and a handful of publications.
Not bad for someone who seemed to doomed to write lovingly detailed character studies of Mary Sues, eh?
And really? I wouldn’t be here writing all this if it weren’t for D. If you like my stories, thank him for his unwavering support of me. If you dislike my stories… well, you can blame him for that, too. *grin*