This year I am writing a novel!
Today’s post is inspired by a chapter in Terry Brooks book Lessons from a Writing Life: Sometimes the Magic Works. The chapter is called “Influences” and it got me thinking about my progression to writing.
For me reading and writing go hand in hand. I love them both. I have always attributed my love of reading to my grandfather who read Dr. Seuss to me from the day we first met. Later I can remember loving library days at school and seeking out that perfect story to read until the next library day rolled around. However, it was grade 7 or 8 that I look back on and note that an insatiable appetite for reading really kicked in. I just couldn’t get enough to read. So, reading was definitely a huge influence on my writing life.
Reading was a way for me to escape the challenges of my childhood. Writing quickly followed. So, now instead of simply escaping into the worlds that someone else created I started to create places of my own to escape into. I feel as if I have shared that with you before. However, after reading Lessons From A Writing Life: Sometimes the Magic Works I realized that much of my play as a child involved creating worlds as well and spending time in them. How interesting it feels to make that connection.
So I read, wrote, story told, role played and daydreamed. Did I want to be a writer? I can look back and say that initially I didn’t because I wasn’t aware of what I was doing or why. Even in high school when I started writing and sharing those pieces regularly with my friends I didn’t make the connection. It was when a boy I was dating looked at me after reading a piece of rough work I had asked him to look through and he said “you should be a writer!” I remember looking at him with confusion and thinking “a writer me? Yeah right.” But, I thought about that comment long and hard and realized that I did want to be a writer. I took a few writing courses in University and after University too but I never committed. Ever so slowly I drifted away from my writing, it was like I lost a part of myself but a part that I couldn’t clearly identify.
Then in 2015 I started blogging as part of a mental health wellness plan for myself. Each post I wrote reminded me of my dream to be a writer. Since then I have had a few pieces published and that sparkle to write is full and alive and I can’t deny it. I have to write. Then more I write the more I want to write. It is addictive and fulfilling and I feel happy when I write even on the days when it feels impossible to put one word on paper. I need to write.
I have been writing short pieces and loving it. However, always in the corner of my mind is this ball of glitter that rolls around sparkling for me to write a novel. My fear of the process, the commitment, the possibility of failure has worked like a broom and dust pan when the glitter threatens to overthrow me until now. This time I am letting the glitter escape and my words sparkle.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
By Shari Marshall – 2021