1. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    If you haven't always been writing...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JetBlackGT, Jul 24, 2013.

    What was the thing that drove you to sit down and start doing it?

    Today I will be running the machine that forms red-hot washers into the shape necessary to fit the military's entrenching tool (AKA "folding shovel"). The best way to make the most parts is to turn off my brain, which I first started doing by making up this long, elaborate story in my head.

    I should fantasize a couple of hundred pages of material today :(

    But what got you to say "You know what? I am going to start doing this RIGHT NOW!"
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Back in college I told myself that some day I'd write a novel.

    Well, about 15 years after that, I decided I'd better get started on following through with that notion.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always kind of had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a novel. I had no idea how to go about writing one, though. Then I had my second son, and the work I had been doing had somewhat dried up. So I ended up at home with my kids and I was losing my mind. Due to various factors, it was and is difficult for me to find a job where I'd have to commute. I figured that since I was at home, I needed to find something that was intellectually engaging. I decided I was going to write. I even told my husband because I knew that once I told him, he'd give me crap and make fun of me if I didn't do anything to try to make it a reality. For six months, I did basically nothing, other than buy a couple of books about writing. Then I saw that my local bookstore was offering a writing class taught by a published author who had taught writing at several colleges. She had a calling to help out her local bookstore. So, I took that class, and then I took the advanced class that she offered. I discovered that I was at least as good as everyone else in the class, so that gave me the impetus to keep writing. I wrote an opening scene and I got some decent feedback. The teacher told me I should apply to a workshop that she had attended and where she was teaching that year. (I didn't get in.) But since she encouraged me, that kept me going.

    I became obsessed with my story, and for a couple months spent every spare moment on it. We had kind of an unusual set of circumstances that Christmas, and we ended up staying home for over a week, barely leaving the house. I used that time to write like mad. Then I finished my story and had no idea what to do with it, so I wrote two more with the same characters. Unfortunately, that's where I still am. I'm trying to revise my story, but it's been very difficult. In the meantime, I've practiced writing short stories and found a local writer's group that offers critique. That's what mostly keeps me going.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my late teens, with no training I compiled and edited and published a football fanzine. I look back now and it was complete crap but I got away with it at the time. In my mid 20s I wrote a novel and sent it off very naively and got a pile of rejection letters. That book is a 3 and 1/2 floppy somewhere. For 15 years I hardly picked up a pen but I know I had a story in me that would make a book. We moved back from Spain to France and had our baby. Took a year off work, except for a monthly weekend DJing in Jersey (A UK owned island off France) and so had the time to get my thoughts on paper.

    I guess it was in the back of my head that I have blockbuster movie in my head.
     
  5. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I didn't want to. I was forced into it by my imagination and a main character living in my head for 17 years. They told me if I didn't write Herb's story, I wouldn't ever be able to concentrate on anything else......ever!
     
  6. Ann-Russell
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    Ann-Russell Member

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    Ever since I was a kid and won a "create-an-author" award in elementary school, I just knew that one day I would be a writer. In high-school I dabbled with fan-fiction and wrote a couple original short stories, but writing wasn't a priority (partying and friends were lol). Then in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work on writing on the side, but I needed a career to pay the bills first...basically, it was always "I'll write later".

    Half-way through nursing school I realized if I kept waiting it would never happen. I suddenly felt like I had wasted so much time, and I hate that feeling. I decided to stop putting it off and go after what I wanted.

    There's still times where I struggle to make it a priority. When I stop writing for a chunk of time and start up again, its quite sub-par. The thought of the few skills I have gained deteriorating keeps me chugging along.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I was dickering around with trying to write a 80's teen series because I loved Sweet Valley High and the Sleepover Friends and half a dozen other
    series books. I read them like people eat popcorn. But I could never finish anything because I was clearly just cannibalising what I read. Then
    I watched Twin Peaks and it hit me. One day I'm going to write like that. Unlike the other series, I didn't want to copy it I was inspired by it.
    I sat down that year and actually produced an a mammoth first draft. The first thing I ever finished.
     
  8. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    My father told me to give it a shot randomly one night while I was having dinner with my folks--he's a traditionally published non-fiction author of soon-to-be six books.

    Needless to say, I took him up on his challenge and haven't looked back since.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    "What was the thing that drove you to sit down and start doing it?" A NaNoWriMo challenge.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    We got a wordprocessor.

    Typing, strikeovers and erasing just didn't work for me. And I changed things too often to make longhand an option either.

    My Mac Performa was the turning point, back in 1994.

    I've always had stories in my head, but this was the first time I was able to write, re-write, save, write some more, move paragraphs and sentences around, save older versions, revisit older versions and snaffle stuff I'd thrown away...and throw things away without fear because I knew I could snaffle them back if I wanted to...

    I love my computers!
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I was a kid (nine, ten, around that age) I wrote stories that were blatant imitations of the Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein science fiction I was reading at the time. I loved writing. When I was about twelve, I started taking guitar lessons and my creative focus shifted to music. For the next twelve to fifteen years, I worked on music and my engineering career and didn't think much about writing. In my twenties, though, owing to some books I'd read about Native Canadian and American mythology and my growing interest in Celtic folk music, a story started forming in my head and I picked up the pen again. I've been writing (with a few several-month breaks) ever since.

    The weird thing is, even in my teens when I thought of myself as a musician, when people would ask me what I wanted to do with my life, I always said I wanted to be a writer. I just wasn't writing at the time. Hmm.
     
  12. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I was all about art and cartoons since I was little. I wrote and illustrated storybooks, then moved on to comic strips and comic books,but always cared more about the art than the writing. English was actually one of my least favorite classes, just above math. In high school, I began to noodle around with writing fanfics ans short story versions of the comics I made up. In my junior year of HS, my English teacher had us write a short story, no genre or subject restrictions, so long as it was "school appropriate". I forget exactly how many pages it had to be, but with my imagination free todo what it wanted, I ended up passing that page count by about five. it was a modern fantasy story about a teenage girl who gets sucked into the world of the supernatural by a group of older girls who try to use her as part of a dark magic ritual. I got a perfect grade on it, and some really encouraging comments from the teacher.
    In college, I majored in graphic design and took mostly fine arts as electives, but still tried to find time to write, and paid more attention to the storytelling in my comics. Now, I write more than I make art, but if it weren't for the necessities of a day job, it would be pretty even.
     
  13. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I don't exactly know how I got started writing poetry. Probably because I just wanted to express myself. That was a long time ago. Recently I've tried focusing more on prose, so my poems have taken a backseat. Well, they have for the most part.

    I have always been fascinated by words, however. Something about the rhythm of a good sentence, or paragraph. The way words sometimes connect and make it feel as if you're reading a song. The vividness of a well-exectued simile, or the clearness of a concise metaphor. And I've always been fond of the one part of a story, the one defining brush-stroke that solidifes the entire picture in my mind. To me, that's what it's all about.

    I'm also a dreamer, in every sense of that word. I spend a lot of time in my head, envisioning areas of deep space or distant worlds or realms where magic exists, or re-playing conversations and memories and then re-creating the outcomes or asking myself questions pertaining to what I think the meaning of life is today--whatever.

    And then I got more curious about the writers behind the scenes pulling the strings. I woke up one day, after being so moved by a piece, and told myself, "I want to be that guy. I want affect people that strongly."

    So, I started writing fiction. At first, it was exploratory and about wanting to move people, to touch their emotions the way other authors and their stories have touched me.

    But I quickly discovered just how hard it is to write, and how bad I was at it. Now, it's more because I'd like to get better. If I don't get better, I'll never be able to move people, I'll never be able to successfully visit the worlds I've dreamed. At first, I was trying to move mountains, when I couldn't even lift a pebble.

    So, I'm just going to lift pebbles, until I get strong enough to move mountains, and that's what keeps me sitting down and writing.
     
  14. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    I'm not actually sure. Ever since I was little I have been making up stories in my head. Pretended to be in fantasy worlds, traveling between the stars, etc. I used to draw a lot when I was a kid. It was the only medium available to me at the time where I could express myself, and I even made a few cartoons.
    Later my father bought a computer for our family, and I got sucked into the world of computer games, making my two favorite hobbies reading and playing games. But I was never into the games for the action. Counter Strike and other shooters never appealed to me as much as those games where you are told a story.

    Fast forward a few years and I had tried my hand at both trying to make movies with hand held cameras, programming computer games and drawing cartoons. It was not until about a year ago that I realized that books, that truly amazing portal into other realities that had been with me ever since I first learned to read was actually something I would be able to do, that I began writing. I had so many stories; so many ideas I wanted to get down on paper, and quickly realized that writing a novel takes tremendous amounts of work, but I had already been hooked, and I have been keeping up with it ever since and have gotten nociceably better at it.
     
  15. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    I didn't have anything to do over the summer besides work, so I said to myself, "Steve, you are gonna write a novel."

    One month of summer left and it's definitely going to be longer than just the summer :p
     
  16. Kita
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    Kita Senior Member

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    It was four things that got me to try writing.

    Firstly, I love to read and have done since I was a young child.

    Secondly, I've always had an active imagination. I'd always be thinking up new scenarios, characters and worlds.

    The third thing was high school. Admittedly, English class wasn't my favourite by a long shot but when it came to creative writing assignments, I loved it...Until the gore and the fighting was heavily censored. I was a horror writer at the time so it came with the territory as far as I was concerned.

    The thing that really sparked it off though was my Uncle. He loves to read as much as I do and one day he told me that I should be a writer and at the time I'd had a bunch of characters living and slaughtering in my mind for around six months so I opened up Word and got started.

    My mind sounds worse than it is when I put it like that...
     
  17. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Daydreaming, like you.

    And love, I guess. I first wrote poetry when I was a teenager, but stories even younger.

    I didn't have to analyze the process so much back then. It just happened. Maybe I should try to do the same today.
     
  18. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I never really thought about it, but i always had really good idea that needed putting on paper... i then was asked to join a writers club at school, and it snowballed from there!
     
  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The moment I had free time, I started to write, and have done ever since.
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd always been scribbling and writing short stories ever since I knew how to write, although on the whole I drew a lot more than I wrote. I was always into manga and when I was little, I wanted to either work for Disney or become a manga artist. At school whenever we got creative writing for homework or classroom work, I'd write and write and write, it was my favourite, always going over the word limit.

    Then I went to England and I continued to write random things, not necessarily stories, but always some form of writing. I started making my own "comic books" and little plays both in Chinese and in English. Around this time my language was fast turning into Chinglish with words often mixing. My teacher introduced me to poetry and rhyme, she deliberately sent me off on creative writing exercises because she saw I had a knack for languages. In my own time, I was re-writing fairy tales I'd read in school, just because I loved the stories and wanted to. Nobody told me to do that. Looking back, it must've been one reason why my English improved so fast.

    And by the time I was 9 I was finally thinking about writing stories. It was no longer just scribblings. I wanted a story, complete with title and cover and everything, but I was scared because my English was still poor at the time. I sometimes wonder if I'd have started writing at all if it weren't for what my mum said. I told her I didn't want to write because of my poor grammar, and she said, "Who cares? You're doing it for fun, so as long as you're having fun, that's fine."

    I've had various hiccups and 3-year-breaks and writer's block since, but since moving to Prague 3 years ago, I've been writing nearly everyday. Mostly the need to finish my novel drives me.
     
  21. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    It's like the things we need to write, are inside us. They won't rest until we free them. They rattle their chains and drag their tin cups across the bars. They won't let us forget that they exist.
     
  22. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    Yeah that basically. ^^

    And my career options dwindling over my 30s like a succession of Russian dolls.

    I have a reasonably paying day job, and to be honest I would have to do pretty well as a writer to be able to match my income and be able to give it up (not because I'm that well paid but because most writers seem to earn very little from what I can see) , but its nothing I feel passionate about and I'm much better at writing than I am at anything else; so I would like to do some work that I know is excellent. If nothing else I can look back and know I 'did' something that no one else could do.

    I think for many writers, writing feels a bit like playing the lottery but where you can almost see what the numbers will be. You know you probably won't win, but you might, and if nothing else it will be an interesting journey that will leave you different to how you started.
     

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