1. Thank you all for your patience with our technical errors. We think we've fixed it, but please do report anything that's not working right, by posting on the 'minor bugs' thread in Support and Feedback, which can be found here.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. joe

    joe New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Madison, WI USA

    I Want To Be A Writer.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by joe, Mar 13, 2009.

    I know there are some of you who love writing now, but may not have liked reading and/or writing when you were little. Or maybe you even hated it at some point.

    If that sounds like you, what changed your mind?

    I'm always fascinated by "unlikely origins" when it comes to creative people.



    (Sorry if this thread has been posted before- I'm still new here, but didn't have time to check every single archive)
     
  2. sweetchaos

    sweetchaos New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Oshawa, Canada
    I can't say I disliked writing. I think it was more that I didn't know I liked it. I had been forced to write a short story in English in grade nine and wasnt' interested in the least. When I've been forced to do something, I lose all interest in it.

    A little later that year, my friends and I were all trying to write novels. You know, the ones filled with a typical 14 year old's ideal alter-ego. A Mary Sue if you will. But I couldn't get past the second or third chapter. (which when I read it now, wasn't past the fifth or sixth page in a notebook..double spaced) I had big ideas, but little knowledge of how to get there.

    Then, when I was about 19/20, I woke up in th emiddle of the night with this sudden urge to write. I had a whole story lined out in my head and I needed to get it down on paper.

    That one hasn't gotten past chapter 7, and I've put it aside for a while because it's really not who I am anymore.

    But in the end, I dolove writing...when I actually get around to do some. I would like to write everyday, but I never find the motivation to actually get around to doing it. I won't do that without someone pushing me to do it, but as soon as someone is there pushing me, I lose interest and don't want to do it. It sucks. LOL.

    I love and hate writing at the same time....apparently I also like to ramble, using terrible SPaG, about stuff that is irrelavant to the topic of the thread..
     
  3. ArckAngel

    ArckAngel New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a child, elementary and Junior High, I didn't so much dislike writing. I--Hated--reading. In fact I probably couldn't read fluently until I was about eight or nine. That stopped in High School when I read 'The Outsiders' but I still wasn't really that interested in fiction. Though from the age of 14 on, I took part in Forum RPG's like the ones on this forum. And when I found that too limiting, due to the fact that some people didn't always do things they way I wanted them to, or their writing ability was below mine, and I moved on to short fiction.
     
  4. Cherokee

    Cherokee New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've always loved thinking up stories and characters but hated having to translate it too paper. I felt like my writing didn't do it justice, I have sooo many drafts that start and end with just one paragraph (if it's even lucky enough to be written on paper :/).

    It's a slow process for me now, I write then stop for a few days to figure out how to get the emotion in for the next scene, music helps a lot.
     
  5. lordofhats

    lordofhats New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,022
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Hat Cave
    I just found ways to enjoy it. It got better for example, when in school I could start picking my own topics and write about stuff I was interested. Then there's my recreational fiction writing, which is a hobby for my imagination that use to run me wild with day dreams in class. Now writing is a way to vent it, though I'm not really sure it helps as much as I wish it did :p.
     
  6. g1ng3rsnap9ed

    g1ng3rsnap9ed New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    A small town called Pox...
    I was always interested in writing, but too embarassed to try it until sixth grade. They were absolutely terrible, but I've come a long way since then (and still have a long way to go). After that I always write unless I'm emotionally down, which put things on hold for about a month. Writing is like a religion to me, I would go as far to say that my stories are like my personal Bibles.
     
  7. Nilfiry

    Nilfiry Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    I've never liked writing but I write anyway. You'd wonder how that's possible, but I tell you, it surely is. I write as a means to express creativity but do not actually like to write.
     
  8. architectus

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,795
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    Ever since I was a child I enjoyed coming up with stories, but I hated longhand. My handwriting was sloppy, and I couldn't write fast enough. Once I was able to type 50-60 wpm, I was able to put my ideas down quickly. My fingers still can't keep up with my thoughts, but they do well enough.

    I didn't really start writing full stories unitl the last few years. I am almost finished with the first draft of my third novel. I pretty much write every day now.
     
  9. Benska

    Benska New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    The thing that prevented me from starting to write stories earlier was probably that I'd never actually tried creative writing, per se. Sure, I'd been forced to write short stories in school, based on a given topic with 5 or 10 minutes to come up with the storyline in my head, let alone some decent characters etc. though I would plan it out a little beforehand, sometimes.
    I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember. Oftentimes I would lay in bed for hours on end, some of that time I would spend coming up with stories; but writing was a chore to me, so it never even occured to write them down... until a few years ago, that is.
    Since then, it's been somewhat sporadic, on and off. More on than off, I'd say.
     
  10. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,585
    Likes Received:
    3,273
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I've always liked writing too, though I only started taking it seriously very resently - I have always been coming up with stories.
     
  11. Bongo Mongo

    Bongo Mongo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Farley Mowat (30+ books) said that he didn't like writing, but the feeling when he finished was so great it made him keep going. (I might have already said this in another thread).

    For me, I just re-read some of the stuff I've already wrote to give me motivation. It seems the hardest part about writing, is opening the Word document. Go figure..
     
  12. g1ng3rsnap9ed

    g1ng3rsnap9ed New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    A small town called Pox...
    That's how it is for me too. Once I begin writing I can't stop, but it seems that opening my notebook is the hardest part...laziness! :)
     
  13. Ghosts in Latin

    Ghosts in Latin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    2
    I never liked writing until I began roleplaying on a chat site in the 7th grade.
     
  14. Beth

    Beth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Italy
    We're in the same boat. I don't like writing at all. Every sentence hurts to put it on paper... But at the same time I can't do without it. ;)
     
  15. Basic

    Basic New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know saying "I want to be a writer" sounds both cocky and bold, but as I begin my career at twenty years of age as a computer scientist, I yearn to not give up on my budding aspiration to be a writer! However, it is not in anyway a reality. I've spent most my childhood focusing on math, music, and computers, with English being a side-note when included. The closest I passed on writing is some positive feedback during creative exercises, while slacking off on reading catching only "The Catcher In The Rye", and a few classics on my own time (Dante's Inferno, 1984, Farenheit 451, The Metamorphosis, and for laughs 100 Years of Solitude). However, I am willing to accept a double burden and learn how to write... but how in the world can I start at 20 years of age? Everywhere I go, people seem to tell me things such about letting the creative juices flow, and just expressing how I see things. As a math-oriented person, this sounds like a bunch of garble by people who believe that anyone with a pen can write a novel. I do not believe this! I am certain there must be a way to orient your mind to the language and consistencies of assembling a novel. If you can start learning computer programming languages like Basic and HTML and advance to JavaScript and C++, surely there is a basic beginning point for someone who wants to someday become a writer, even if the ends are ten years of preparation down the line! Where do I seriously and honestly begin?

    I apologize in advance for interrupting any advanced literary talk which is occurring on this forum, as well as for my tone. I did warn you it would be bold and cocky though.
     
  16. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Basic,

    It has been many, many years since I've done any programming (does Pascal and COBOL provide a hint?).

    However there isn't a 'formula' that works for writing in the specific scene. There are those that ascribe to the Scene-Sequel setup, for example, but it is not so much assembling parts or a particular order.

    There are components that are required. Reading, especially but not exclusively in the area/genre you hope to write, will give examples of what works.

    There are subtleties such as pacing, effective characterization, foreshadowing, even symbolism, etc., that go along with the more solid components such as setting, conflict, theme, among many.

    Writing dialogue is more than just getting the words in, and the proper punctuation for the dialogue tags. Describing a scene or action, balancing it between too much information and slowing the scene and not enough...Which POV to select and using it effectively to convey the story to the reader.

    Some people parts or all of it come more naturally, or easily than others.

    The best thing to do is to read, not necessarily for pleasure, but to examine how successful writers have done it. And to sit down and write. Get that first draft down, hopefully after a bit of planning ahead of time (although there are those who believe that planning is a waste of time--but that's another post). I think you'll find that if you write a novel, for example, your last chapters will be better than your first, because you will improve with practice. There are some books that can give you the basics on writing a novel, and if you're really stuck, maybe borrow one from the library, but they don't really have the 'magic formula' for a successful novel in them.

    There is an art of sorts to programming. Some people are better at it than others. There is an art to writing as well.

    Hope I addressed some of your question/concern.

    Good luck moving forward,

    Terry
     
  17. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    36,169
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hello Basic, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    I, too, grew up studying math and science. I worked as a research chemist for a few years, then changed professions and have been a software engineer for about three decades. A couple years ago, I decided to work on my creative writing skills, and then got serious about it. Too late to start? I think not!

    Please read How to Use the Review Room before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  18. izanobu

    izanobu New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    You want to be a writer? Beginning is easy. Start writing. :) The only way to become a writer is to do it. Figure out what kind of stories you like to tell and start writing them.
     
  19. VisiblePoltergeist

    VisiblePoltergeist New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    My location when I'm online is usually in front of
    Nope, you're wrong, anyone with a pen can write a novel, but it takes creativity to create a story. There is no technique to making a story, you could either plan it out or just write it as you go.

    From what I can tell, you're probably the planner type, so I guess I can give you a starting point, it's basic and is learned in like the 1st grade, but everyone has to start at the roots. So what you do is you come up with a plot or just a simple title and write some ideas of what could happen during the period of events and work your way from there.

    From what I've heard and seen on TV, people who know a lot about math and science tend to have a bit of trouble being creative, since math and science are founded on rules and limits, where when it comes to writing, there aren't any rules, the writer can go all out and create some sort of world where people are superheroes and poop rainbows or they can stay within limits and make a world where everything is very much real with danger or relationships hang by a thread. Unlike in math or science, there are no formulas, equations and whatever else they have.
     
  20. Ron Aberdeen

    Ron Aberdeen Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    W.Midlands - UK.
    It is easy to say “I want to be a writer“, as easy as saying you want to be anything else.

    The difference between those that want to be and those that are is probably the fact, one talks about it and the other does it.

    No prizes for guessing who; or is there?
     
  21. Irish87

    Irish87 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    California
    You're right, you can't be a writer. Not because there is some mystical barrier which holds you back, but rather it's your attitude toward it. You talk as though you're a legless man trying to learn how to dance. Writing, in regards to fiction, is nothing more than telling a story. Before you do anything, I'd advise you to go back and read/watch fairy tales. You can practically get the whole set of Brothers Grimm stories for free if you have the Amazon Kindle. I know it sounds ridiculous and to a certain extent it is. Yet, the most basic morals we as adults have are often based in the stories we hear as children. These stories are fairly simple - often good versus evil - and provide a good start for anyone who wants to write an actual story.

    I know that it sounds stupid and I'm sure somebody will disagree, but the most mature stories and novels we have as adults are all born from the simple fairy tales. As you read and as your imagination starts to boil with idea, start writing things down. Begin to evolve as you start reading more mature stories and begin crafting short ones of your own.

    Or you could just assume only certain people can write stories. Mind you, you're capable of writing a sentence and your imagination is nothing more than a muscle you must exercise to expand, but ignore that. Accept that you are not good enough and cower down to the elitist mindset that only some of us are gifted with such talents. Forgive me if I sound harsh, but there is nothing quite as pathetic as those who would insult the very nature of our species so that they may somehow make themselves look better. It's beyond my tolerance to accept such ideas and I pray that the original poster (Basic) ignores their hissing voices.
     
  22. theSkaBoss

    theSkaBoss New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    3
    I get where you're coming from, Basic. I'm a spatial and analytical thinker, myself. That's not to say I'm what you'd call "left-brained" or anything. But my brain approaches problems in similar ways to mathematicians, and that's why I love computer programming so much. But the point is, I love to write! I bet you might be feeling that those who've posted before are just prattling on because THEY have the correct brain for writing and have no idea what it means to approach writing from your perspective. Trust me, though, that it'll be to your benefit to pay attention to what they're saying.

    So here's the specific advice I feel I can give you. If you want to approach writing embracing the side of you that thinks mathematically, then what you should probably start with is understanding writing syntax. Because your mind works like it does, it'll be a good starting point for you to get the language under your control. Learn to form sentences that have good pace, evoke the right thoughts and emotions at the right time, and say what it is you want to say.

    A good habit to be getting into along the way is to begin to hitting the dictionary (especially if it conveniently doubles as a thesaurus) whenever you encounter a word you couldn't immediately define to someone in your own words. This will increase your natural vocabulary, which serves two purposes: one, those sentences you're learning to structure will begin to carry more power as each one will be that much more unique and you'll be able to use words that are not only technically correct, but are the most fitting for the situation. (For example, compare these two simple sentences... "He liked her," compared to "He loved her." Two tiny sentences that could stand elaboration no matter which you pick, but one clearly carries more power than the other.) The second purpose is that it is a way to persuade your brain to learn and embrace the skill (you heard me correctly; it's a skill) of turning the English language into a craft, rather than any old activity. (Consider the carpenter: every common man back in the day knew how to chop down wood and use it for something. But what made a man into a carpenter was that he took the menial activity of cutting and shaping wood and turned it into his craft. You must do the same with the English language. You know how to use it to communicate. But what will make you into a writer will be that you took that menial skill and you'll treat it as a craft. Easy as pie: turning a basic skill into a craft. All it takes is the diligence to refine and hone your skills with each new day that passes.)

    The last bit of advice I'll give in this post is that everyone has something to communicate, and it's all based on their experience as a human being. I don't know much about you, so I can't say what your best writing would probably look like. Non-fiction? Historical fiction? Essays? Poems? I have no way of knowing at this point. Because of what you've said about your life, I'd guess that what you want to write is something like sci-fi. Epic fiction that stretches the human imagination, but is deep-rooted in technology and its impacts on humanity, yeah? Whatever it is that you want to write, you need to start reading it. See what's been done by the writers who've gone before you.

    If you think you might like to try sci-fi, I recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's a classic, it's fantastic sci-fi, it's beautifully written, and every mathematical thinker I've ever met has loved it. If a different genre seems like it would be your cup of tea instead, then go for it. If you were to tell us what kind of stories you want to read in your next post, I bet you'd get a good solid list from everyone here.

    And last, but not least, don't worry. You're not interrupting some kind of advanced literary talk or anything of the sort. You're here saying the same thing as the rest of us are saying: "I want to be a writer." You're here asking the same thing as the rest of us are asking: "How can I become a better writer from the point I'm at now?" So again, no worries. Just hang around for a while. You'll find you have capacity for writing just as much as any of us if that's really what you want. Good luck with your endeavors!
     
  23. IMO
    There is no set in stone way for someone to be a writer. Everyone goes about it differently. There's no detailed formula. You just have to start, you have to try, and you have to see where it takes you. You have to try again, to persevere, and just keep going. You have to be dedicated and you have to figure out how to be a writer. It's tough stuff.
     
  24. izanobu

    izanobu New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    jwatson- there is, actually, one set in stone way for every writer. They have to write. :) Thinking about writing, reading about writing, these things are good... but nothing will make you a writer until you put words on paper/screen. Writers write.
     
  25. marina

    marina Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,276
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Your post confuses me because you sound like you want to be a writer so badly...and yet it sounds like you've never actually done any writing.

    Do you want to "be a writer" or do you want to write? If it's the former, then you're not lusting after the words, the story, the characters, you're lusting after the attraction of "being a writer"--whatever that means.

    If you have a "budding aspiration to be a writer", then why aren't you writing? If you're smart enough to do computer programming, you're smart enough to know how to open MS Word and start writing. Some people have stories they want to tell, characters they want to express, ideas and mysteries they want to explore. They put fingers to keyboard/pen to paper and write...not because they want "to be a writer," but because they love literary expression.

    There's no C++ that you need to learn for fiction writing, there's simply the use of your dreams and meditations put to paper.

    Now go and do, or don't, but stop "aspiring".
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice