All this leads to the point of this post. Adam Slade of Editing Hat asked about how you got started writing. The funny thing is, when I was a girl, I used to tell myself I would be a writer. The problem is, I don't think I wrote very much. I wrote a lot of poetry, but I lacked the work ethic to actually write a story. So, I read. And read and read. I consumed the written word. I've never gone to college or attended a workshop. I think my years and years of reading are what taught me about stories: how they should be paced, what made a sympathetic character, what kept me reading a book, and what made me put one down.
I first attempted a novel in my early twenties. George Lucas had finally allowed the serializing of the Star Wars characters into novels. I was going to write a grand, sweeping science fiction story about these superhero vigilantes (a thin rip off of the Star Wars Jedis, now that I look back on it!) However, I had no work ethic, I didn't even know how to get it published or looked at by those that would publish it. It eventually fizzled out.
Years go by. I continue my reading. Stephen King publishes On Writing. I read it. I take his advice, start writing and start reading Writer's Markets. I'm going to be a horror writer now. The thing is, those Writer's Markets? They scare the living fuck out of me. I write, but I have no confidence. I make friends suffer and read my stories. Few understand them. No one gives me any feedback worth anything. I keep writing, but something is missing. I don't have the confidence. I never submit anything for publication. I fall into a pretty black period of depression and stop writing.
I approach 35. I tell myself, if you don't start writing, you will never be a writer. That is all there is to it. What do you want to write? What is holding you back? I don't have the scientific knowledge to write sci fi. I don't feel like I know enough about the modern world to write modern horror. My poor little mind lives in its own world, and always has. Why not write stories taking place in my own worlds?
So I did. I wrote a story about a gypsy girl with the ability to talk to horses. Not a bad tale, but again, I had no confidence. I didn't see how to get it published. I finish it, put it aside, and started on another work. That went pretty well, but again, slowly but surely, I stop writing. I tell myself, AGAIN! if you don't write, you won't be a writer! What the hell, girl? So... I had this amazing idea that had been percolating, that I was going to write someday... when I was a better writer. You know, when I knew what I was doing. I decided to write it, and write it now. What do you have to lose?
So that's what I've been doing. I've been steadily writing for the past two years, and I am now working on the book that I believe will be finished to completion and submitted to an agent. I see people do this all the time, and they don't die of shame when they are rejected, and the agents don't come over to their job and point and laugh at them because they put it's instead of its. Sometimes, writers make mistakes when submitting to agents or publishers, and no one has died from it yet. Not only that, but I've found out, there are agents out there, and they have these things called "blogs" and well, apparently, agents are human beings. It's true! I know!
So that is the long ass story of how I became a writer. *nudge, nudge* Are you still awake?!