Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bitten by the Writing Bug...and Quotes of the Week

When I was a child, I loved the idea of becoming a writer. I used to pound away on my mother's old manual typewriter from the early 1960's, but I was usually writing letters from one stuffed animal, my blue camel (remember the old "Camel with the Wrinkled Knees" from the Raggedy Ann books?) to my brother's equally blue stuffed French poodle named Pierre, and he would respond in kind on Pierre's behalf.

But writing stories? I think I sat down only once to write a story, and I think I wrote two pages. Writing fiction didn't seem to be my "thing."

In my high school Creative Writing class, I learned how to compose poems and did fairly well--well enough to be published in a couple of our school's yearbooks and in a couple of literary magazines during my junior and senior years.

Once I attended college at Point Loma Nazarene University, I wrote more poems for the literary magazine and enjoyed writing essays for my various literature classes, but writing fiction remained a difficult task. In my Creative Writing class with Dr. Dean Nelson, I struggled with believable characters and plot lines.

After that course, I decided that I just wasn't a writer of fiction...and never would be.

But then a bunch of e-friends jumped onto the National Novel Writing Month(NaNoWriMo) bandwagon, and in 2008 I joined them. I drafted 50,000 words of a novel, and in 2009, I completed the novel. Well, mostly completed it; I still have a LOT of editing to do.

In late 2010 I started writing on Wattpad under a pen name, and I haven't stopped writing fiction since. I've now completed one novel of 146,000 words, another of just over 200,000 words, and my third novel is at 70,000 words, not to mention several shorter works of about 10-15,000 words.

So it took me entering my 40's before fiction writing really grabbed my mind and heart and soul. But I write a lot now--nonfiction on my blog and for the various courses that I teach at Heritage and Brave Writer, plus writing fiction. It's become a compulsion, even an addiction. Perhaps someday I'll be able to publish my work; we shall see.

So here are two intriguing quotations from women writers of the 20th century into the 21st. Their thoughts on writing are provocative and thought-provoking...and so very true.

"You become a writer because you need to become a writer--nothing else."

~Grace Paley (1922-2007)

"Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself... It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent."

~Harper Lee (1926-)

So have a wonderful week, everyone--and keep on writing!!

Writing with you,

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