I can still remember my High School English teacher praising a fellow student who wrote 500 words on the way a man smoked his cigarette. I will admit to being jealous. I wanted someone to read my work and see the same stroke of genius.
There isn’t a point in my life without stories. Books became my best friends. Worlds I could revisit over and over again. Friendships renewed every time I picked a book back up. My mother soon learned there was no better punishment for me than to not let me read. Send me to my room, and I would sit and devour books for hours enjoying the quietness of being grounded.
I don’t remember when I decided to make up my stories. I do remember the first thing I wrote. From that point on, a pen and some paper was all I needed. Writing is something I could do anytime and anywhere. With all the other things, you fight about when you are younger, stories never betrayed me. What I saw was what I got. Truth as plain to see as words on a page.
Writing has been a shelter in all the storms of my life. Everyone does right things and wrong things. None of us wake up in the morning wanting to make things worse or to be unhappy. Our lives move around us and all we can do is try to live as best we can.
I wake up some mornings and want to make something awful happen for my characters. Dreams of how to a draw story out with torturous twists. How far will I go? I have little compunction for retaining characters because readers like them. Everyone can be killed off. That said, sometimes the most hurtful thing for a character is emotional. It’s another kind of death.
When I can’t work on a story, I journal. There are little notebooks are all over the place. I seem to remember things when I write them down. I don’t need one notebook with everything in it. I am fine with bits and pieces all over the place.
I don’t like to use my mobile devices for writing unless I am traveling. I have to be desperate. I would rather grab one of those tiny hotel pads of paper and the cheap pen before worrying about my fat fingers on a little keyboard.
Writing for me is like being an adrenaline junkie. Whether things are going well or bumping along in drips, I get a punch of good vibes. Editing doesn’t give me the same charge as a first draft. Creating seems to be key.
I’ve read and listened to other story tellers explain their first word affair. Everyone starts from a different place. I know for the longest time writing advice noir advised when you read something you don’t like, re-imagine it. That’s what you should be writing.
What a bunch of silly balderdash. Why would you keep reading a crap book? I will say you can’t write if you aren’t reading. If you want to write bestsellers, then read them. Discover why an author’s rhythm appeals.
In short, great stories made me want to be a writer.
What draws you to the page? Please leave a comment down below. I love hearing from you.