"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." --Alex Noble
Today is the first time I will have blogged online and I would like to say "Hello World!" I am filled with trepidation and excitement in equal degrees but I am determined to give it a try.
Let's start with a little history, shall we?
My parents told me that I started reading at three years old but the first story I remember creating on my own (written and illustrated) was in the 3rd grade. It was a silly little story about unicorns, Pegasus, and war, oddly enough. I made it for a friend and didn't think to make myself a copy but an eight year old doesn't really plan on nostalgia. It was after I'd written that 3 page story that I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Over the years my passion for writing has only been exceeded by my passion for reading.
I was 14 years old when I attempted my first novel. I look back at that first draft now and shake my head while I wear a smile. But though the manuscript was pretty immature and directionless, it has remained with me and grown over the years into something that I consider a epic tale. The characters are long-loved friends, the scenery as familiar as my own backyard, and the dialogue tends to pop up and fill my brain like a multiple-personality disorder. Those characters have the unfortunate tendency speak up whenever they feel neglected and nudge me back to telling their story; never mind that I have a life of my own to lead and other novels/characters clamoring for their voices to be heard.
Though that particular story is currently shelved on my list of projects, someday it will be told. Meanwhile, I'll just have to put up with the cacophony in my skull.
I used to consider myself a pretty dedicated writer until I was shown true dedication by a wonderful friend. Her passion and dedication to telling a story, writing daily, and chasing your dreams gave the lie to my self-styled title of "Writer." I took a good hard look at myself and had to fess up. I felt passion for my literary endeavors but I did not have the actions to back it up. Sometimes, as many writers can tell you, passion is not enough. You must have motivation, dedication, and sheer mulishness. Passion can't always carry you through the grueling act of revision, plotting, or research.
So I took a page from my friend and set myself the task of deserving the title "Writer." Passion got me about as far as 3 days. After that, it was a matter of refusing to have my writing pursuits labeled as "hobbies." If I wanted to play with the big dogs, I was going to have to get scrappier. And I learned something. I had only been playing at writing before. This was HARD work. There was a lot more to it than I had been doing. So I joined a critique group and learned another thing. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. That first meeting was like being strapped to the bare metal frame of an electrified mattress. But I stuck with it and now I feel like a critique group is the best thing you can do for yourself if you really want to learn the craft of writing.
After that first group, I had the confidence to be able to join a local group for writers and attend my first conference. I've since joined another critique group (two critique groups and 1 state league for writers) and am on my way to getting published. I'm actually submitting my work instead of hoarding it like a scarlet dragon coiled around stolen shiny objects. Hopefully, I will soon be able to report on the fruits of my labors. Cross your fingers for me. As for myself, I'm about as twisted as a pretzel with how much I'm "crossing my fingers."
"So why the blog", you say? I decided that if I wanted to be a big fish, I was going to have to swim upstream. Though the thought of sending my rambling and perhaps useless words into the wilds of the Internet scares the bodily functions out of me, I am determined to earn the right to call myself a writer. So if you're thus inclined, feel free to join me on my journey to publication and from there, to as high as my waxen wings will allow.
With wishes of success in all your dreams and goals,