Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Did You Become A Writer And What Did You Do In Order To Get Where You Are Today?

First off, I would like to thank a fellow blogger, Merely Me (you can access her blog by viewing my profile for the link), for giving me the basic idea for this post. I had made a rather lengthy reply to a recent post of hers, and after thinking about for a day or so, I felt that my comment would make a very good topic to write about.

I never set out from day one with the goal, "I'm gonna be a writer!" In fact, I got into writing way late in life, like about three years ago. But it wasn't because I suddenly decided to sit down at my laptop one evening and began to write. I decided to write because of two important reasons:

1) I was going through some personal strife.
2) And the easiest outlet/therapy for my strife was to write.

So, in the span of about 10 months, from December 2005 to September 2006, I wrote one novel and a half dozen short stories. And like a neophyte, I thought that they were already perfect, thus off to submission land they went.

Fast forward to February 2007. The event: chat rooms. I discovered chat rooms (or message boards if you prefer) that month and from that point on, things changed for the better. I started off by making long, detailed oriented posts that basically put people to sleep {overwriting, sin #1}. As I got more used to the fact that the Topix chat rooms had a 4,000 character limit, the more I was able to condense and zero in on what I wanted to say {editing, flash non-fiction} with fewer words and greater use of a thesaurus {redundancy, sin #2}.

By the time 2008 rolled around, I was well on my way to becoming a master at writing blistering non-fiction posts for the unseen masses. I excelled at making my point with as few words as necessary and also holding the attention of quite a few people who publicly told me that they enjoyed my writing.

In essence, Topix had become my personal training ground for improving my writing skills. Whereas other people probably did it the old fashioned way (writing stories, using writer's groups, taking classes, getting feedback, etc.) to get where there are, I did it the Internet way. I still use Topix as my personal training ground, but now it's used more to refine and sharpen my writing skills for the unseen masses.

This is now due to the fact that I moved on to the next stage of my schooling: blogging. I moved over to the blog sphere in May of this year (please see any other label on this blog for further details) and once again, began to work my craft for the unseen masses.

And just like in the chat rooms, it took me a while to get the hang of blogging. As I blogged and gained more confidence in my abilities, I began to explore other writing related blogs. As I explored, I gained important tips, skills and knowledge from writers other who have been doing their craft for a much longer period of time.

It's been a wonderful learning experience for me, but I believe that with the background I possess (chat rooms and blogging), my writing will offer a unique perspective/fresh outlook on whatever basic idea that is out there to write about.

So, how did you go about getting to where you are today?


  1. As a fairly new blogger, I can relate to this post a lot. Still getting the hang of it, but rather enjoying the whole process. If I could I'd read blogs all day long!

  2. I feel the same way about reading blogs too.

    I've found that blogging lets me do things that otherwise I couldn't do in chat rooms.

    I'm glad that you stopped by to visit. I'll be sure to give your blog a look see.

  3. Mainly by writing :-).

    Kind of a convoluted way to fiction writing, though. Wrote some as a kid, forgot about it, then re-discovered it as a stay at home mom.

    What nudged me towards finally writing a novel was writing a memoir of my college days, and completing a book-length project (that may or may not see the light of day).

  4. Kewl.

    I don't think I ever wrote when I was a kid, beyond whatever homework assignments I had to do (most memorable was writng a short synopsis of MacBeath to "Another One Bites The Dust").

    But I always did have an active imagination. Just took me a while to find the proper outlet for it.

  5. I'm not even sure if I can consider myself a "writer" as such, but I think you really are, Georgie B.

    You sure inspire me to keep going.

    And thanks for the Topix intro, a good link to follow up looks like.

  6. I thank you for the compliment. And you're welcome for the Topix intro.

    I think one can consider themselves a writer if they deal with the written word in any particular way.

    I think being able to write music and lyrics is head and shoulders beyond what people like myself can do. I'm always impressed with people who can write music.

    I've always wanted to try my hand at being a lyricist but I don't think I got the proper mindset to give it justice.

  7. I had a grandfather who had two books published. That was always in the back of my mind. A few years ago my wife suggested I should give it a try. I started submitting stories and they were accepted. My next published piece will be in the Revenge issue of Out of the Gutter coming out this month.

  8. Congrats on the next published piece.

    Sounds like you got a good comfortable second career going. Hope it takes you far and beyond whatever you originally hoped for.

  9. Coming to writing was the easy part--I was one of those little kids who always was scribbling in some note book.
    Coming to terms with what it means about me: I'm opinionated,(why else write a blog?) want other people to know what I have to say, tell myself stories in my head (is that a sign of some mental disorder?)--that's all something else.

  10. Christine: Sounds like you're having a most fulfilling and rewarding career going for you.

    Good luck with your latest release.

    Telling stories to yourself is never a sign of some mental disorder.

    It's just creativity in action.


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