...wherein I will wax poetic on how much I love writing, words...and writing words coincidentally...
Wait, what? I know, I know.
I've been writing a long time. Yeah I know, everyone writes. But I'm talking about writing stories. I feel like I can almost just barely remember the first time I decided to write a story of my own. I was probably about twelve and I absolutely loved to read. In fact my mom always said that I "devoured" books instead of just reading them. I was going through a huge Star Wars phase at that age, ahem, one that I'm yet to come out of. And I had just discovered what we nerds refer to as, the Expanded Universe. AKA Star Wars books. I think I read every single one I could get my hands on at the library. One night I was laying in bed with my flashlight, you know, reading under the covers, but I had finished my book. Not knowing what else to do with myself and certainly not able to fall asleep I laid there in bed and made up my own story. Granted I used the Star Wars characters and the setting, but I made up my own plot line. The next night I thought to get a notebook and pen and began writing these stories. So that's how I became a writer, I guess. And yeah, I did just admit that my first stories were basically Star Wars fanfic, so what?
Fast forward nearly fifteen years and here I am, still writing. My own characters this time, my own storylines, desperately attempting to get published. I can hardly believe it myself. Writing was just a hobby for years and years for me. Something to do on the nights when I was without a book to read. I started writing my first novel when I was seventeen, my senior year in high school. Being the homeschooled kid that I was my schedule was pretty easy. In fact, this was my second senior year, since I chose not to go ahead and graduate like I could have the year before. I went part-time, as I worked the other half of my day. One of the classes I chose to take was a creative writing course. My best friend Bethany came over once a week and we would work together. I don't exactly remember the plot line to this book, but I do remember the title "The Only Way". Ha, other than that that's all I remember. I never finished it.
Besides probably continuing to write a few silly stories and maybe dabbling back into my fanfic (fan fiction) tendencies, I didn't write very much over the next few years. I went to cosmetology school, met this guy, got married and had a baby all before I even realized it, practically. I can't exactly remember when I decided to write again, but it was somewhere around 2008ish. I think. Anyway, this novel attempt was more successful than my previous one, if you could call it that. Though it remained unfinished, because I re-wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote some more. After our move here in '09 I didn't pick up my pen for over a year. Probably because at the time I was pregnant with Sophia and I have a tendency to be completely brain dead when I'm pregnant.
Now fast forward again to January of 2011. I had the idea sometime in the previous fall. In my head I could see her, Kit, the heroine of my book, red hair, green Converse, everything. It was there, just waiting for me. Little by little the plot fell into place inside my mind. London, a chase, an adventure. All of it was there. Finally on January the eight I sat down and did something I'd never done before, I wrote an outline. After that I started doing the actual writing and there it was, my first novel. Finished. It was insane and euphoric like you would not believe. More than that it was fun. And the ideas didn't stop there. Over the course of the year I developed two more storylines to round out the series, and I'm not even sure if I will stop there.
This is what I love about writing: the stories are endless, boundless. You're only limited by your own imagination, and then, reality, if you write non-sci-fi stuff like I do. After that it's all you. Anything you want. You want a car chase? You write a car chase. You want explosions? You write them! I get all excited just thinking about the possibilities. Seriously, I'm a dork like that. It's escapism at it's finest, all inside your head.
Therein lies my only problem with writing. On days like today when I feel as though I'm brimming with ideas. I'm to a very climactic moment in the writing of my second novel, and just this morning all the pieces started falling into place inside my head. Usually I'll play through the scene a few times in my head, perfecting it. Picturing the characters, the scenery, hearing the words they will say and how they will say them. After that all I want is to sit down and write. But I can't. I've got to teach school, make lunches, do laundry, change diapers, clean the bathroom, fold the laundry, oh wait, I should probably eat at some point too. Basically I've got to hold on to that amazing, breathtaking scene in my head while going about my daily routine. Hopefully it will still be there when I finally get a chance to sit down with my pen and paper.
The other day my mom summed up how I feel about writing, it's my passion in life. I don't normally use that phrase because it's kind of cheesy. But true. I love, love, love my kids and they are my life, certainly. But writing is my thing, you know? Plus, a huge part of me wants to do this for them too.
Anyway, I guess that pretty much sums it up, or not. Clearly my thoughts and feelings on writing are complex and numerous. I think everyone has a passion in life, whether you know it or not. And if you do know it, then you know how I feel, right?