Welcome to the Becoming a Writer blog series. Each Wednesday, I will feature a new post dealing with my journey to becoming a writer, these posts will cover everything from why I write, to building confidence, asking for feedback, to dispelling the common stereotypes of what writers do. My hopes for this blog series is to inspire beginning writers to start writing and keep with it and for experienced writers to rediscover the reasons they started writing in the first place.
A quick introduction for those of you who are new to my blog. I started writing [fiction] eight years ago. This past January, I self-published my first book, Dissonance. To date, I have sold approximately 70 books. I don’t claim to be an expert, but just an average writer trying to get her works into the hands of readers. I don’t have all the answers, or even half of them, but I have learned that inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes and occasionally, it comes in a form you least expect. I have noticed that [sometimes] you are more likely be inspired by someone in the same situation you find yourself in, instead of an industry expert.
Why do I write?
I have spent countless years keeping a journal off and on throughout my life [depending on the circumstances I found myself in]. Journaling gave me a different, more tangible, way to deal with my thoughts and emotions. As a child and early teens, I attempted to write fiction, but never finished a project. I always thought I wasn’t talented enough to write a full story. Writing always held a bit of mysticism for me, and authors were like the master sorcerers of the world. I used to hold writers on such a high pedestal and knew I would never be capable of reaching that level. After all, grammar and spelling were not my favorite subjects, and I was not particularly interested in sentence structure or the structure and arcs of a story. So what changed?
Eight years ago, I was at a particularly vulnerable point in my life; I was certain there was something better out there. I just had to be open to searching for it. I had recently read a wildly popular young adult series and I realized that writing didn’t have to be hard, use flourish language, or incorporate profound thoughts. That one set of books suddenly lowered the pedestal to a reachable height. That got me to thinking, what if I tried to write a story?
I started writing just to prove to myself that I could. And I continue to write because I found that I enjoyed it. There is something about creating characters and watching how their lives play out is liberating. Creating a character is another way I can explore my worlds, thoughts, and at times my own experiences in the world around me. I find writing an extremely enjoyable way to pass the time. At times writing is frustrating; I get stuck and don’t know what to next, but ultimately the process is fun and enjoyable.
Despite what you might read, writers enjoy what they do [or at least I think they should]. There is also no wrong reason to write or to begin writing. You can write for yourself, or you can write for an audience. You can write for therapy, to escape, to entertain, or countless other reasons. Why did you start writing? And why do you continue?