ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
The Makings of a Writer...
It's been a while- so I appreciate your patience. I've been hacking away at a few projects that I will be excited to show you... but that's for another day.
During the period between my last post and this one, I thought a lot about how I landed in the world of writing. I certainly didn't fit the mold of a potential author: I didn't read a lot of books. I have horrible grammar skills. And I certainly don't have the fanciest vocabulary.
But... isn't that what it takes to be a writer?
Ever since I could remember, I loved to draw. I blew through sketchbooks monthly. I drew mostly portraits, but when I entered high school, ideas for storylines popped into my head. It was like a never ending blossom: every day my brain would create new ideas with minimal effort. But at that time, I lacked confidence in writing. Literature and Grammar were my worst grades. More importantly, I couldn't translate my ideas into words. But, I could with drawing.
That is when I starting drawing graphic novels (at the expense of being called a dork). I poured my ideas into pictures. Each frame told an emotional story, many times without even needing words. By the time I was a senior, I created three different series, one complete with fourteen issues! My friends were my only audience, but they encouraged me to go professional. So, I inked my work and bought some software to help with patterns and shading.
But the dream came crashing to an end as I applied for college, and with extreme pressure from my parents (I love them dearly), I chose to go to pharmacy school. Thoughts whirled in my head like a storm during one of my last English classes: Will I still be able to draw when I go to college? Is it even worth it? I can't make a career out of it. Doubt drained any bit of confidence I had left because I was convinced it was "just a hobby" and that I needed to focus on "reality".
Thankfully, my English teacher interrupted my thoughts with a final assignment: write your own satire. I remember groaning in my seat and heat rising in my cheeks. Another writing assignment, and likely, another dismal grade. To make a long story short, I shut up, sucked it up and just started writing.
And sometimes, that is all that is required to become a writer....
I stumbled upon a topic I was interested in and let it be the flint that ignited my passion. Despite my inability to "write fancy", I not only scored an A, but I received amazing feedback when it was my turn to read it out loud. And right before graduation, the teacher presented me with an award as one of the most promising writers. Me. The person who so blatantly told her once: "I'm a science girl, not a writer."
The rest was history. I fell in and out of drawing and writing during my six years of pharmacy hell, and when I entered the work force, I stopped completely. That was until NaNoWriMo. Then, it hit me. I had easily over a dozen storylines from high school collecting dust in my brain, and I decided to give it a shot. I put my pen to paper (literally. I was old school. My first draft was handwritten) and wrote 100,000 words. Once I started writing again, I couldn't stop. I wouldn't. I refused. Because once I gained the momentum, adrenaline rushed through my fingertips, excited at the opportunity to bring my ideas to life. This didn't change the fact that I still didn't read much, still had terrible grammar, and a pathetic vocabulary. But, that's okay. Sure, it took me twice as long to edit my novel because I was an amateur, but that didn't change the fact that I wrote something. To this day, I have one short story in a published anthology, one privately published novel, one soon-to-be published fantasy, and one soon-to-be published short story in another anthology.
While I'm no New York Times Best Seller (yet), and I don't have any grand wisdom for the art of writing, I'm still a bona fide writer. I am an author. And if I can be one, you can be too.
So what does it take to make a writer? Sure, it would help to read a lot. It would help to know your tenses and POV. And it certainly would be great if you had a never ending vocabulary list. But it's not a requirement. You just need an idea. And you need to start writing.
I once had a friend bemoan the fact she "wished" she could write. She asked me "how I did it", and I gave her that advice. Now, she is well on her way to writing her first novel. Most of you reading this probably are already established authors, but I hope this sends a message to everyone from the novice to the experienced: start writing. You can only be a writer if you write.
The rest can be fixed later.
And by the way, I still intend on publishing graphic novels in the future. ;)
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