All writers have their own ways of getting words out of their imagination and onto the page. Our mind is a powerful tool, and we’re always having thoughts about all sort of things. We react to the world around us, we daydream, we imagine, we construct scenarios, and the fact that we have the means to express these thoughts and share them with others is something that keeps me going, and keeps me writing.
My blog began as a place to share my writing, but I haven’t yet dedicated a post to writing about my writing journey. Until now! So, whatever kind of writer you are, you’re about find out how on earth I became the writer I am today.
It all began with ‘Jade’s Diary’
If you look back at my notebooks from childhood, you’ll find passages copied from books, both fiction and non-fiction. I simply liked the act of writing. This evolved into wanting to write about myself and my life. Back then, my life was all I had to write about, and I took inspiration from Jacqueline Wilson’s book The Story of Tracy Beaker. I LOVED Tracy Beaker when I was around 11-12, and I decided to answer all the questions that Tracy did at the beginning of the book, and I called this ‘My Life Story’.
After answering the questions, it became a diary. But it wasn’t handwritten, I’d just got my first computer and I typed it all up in Word. I still have the document!
It fizzled out once I hit the teen years, and that’s when I bought a plain black notebook and began a handwritten diary. It was nothing profound, it was simply the joy, confusion, and emotional wreckage that came with being a teenager.
But during that summer in 2007 I vowed to keep writing. I’m currently on ‘Jade’s Diary’ #25.
Before I started writing fiction, I drew it! I created my own comic strip with a whole cast of characters. My childhood was spent reading Garfield, and that’s where my creative inspiration came from. My comic strip was called ‘Bunny & Egg’ and was about a duck (Bunny) and his best friend, an egg (Egg).
I bought a small notebook and filled it full of the adventures these two characters got up to. When I read them back, I realise just how much imagination I had back then. I put my life into these characters, and then one day I decided to write them into a book.
The document is 32 pages long and has 7,119 words. I spent every waking moment writing this story. It consumed me. I illustrated it, and I wrote it in diary form from the perspective of Bunny. For a brief period, writing fiction was my entire life. And then I stopped. I abandoned my characters, and I abandoned the book. I don’t know why, maybe I just grew out of it.
But not before I’d created a Bunny & Egg magazine, naturally.
(I don’t have the single copy of my magazine, I left it with my English teacher at school. I wish I’d asked for it!)
A dash of poetry
I branched out into poetry after reading Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. That book inspired me for weeks on end. I wrote numerous poems in a similar style, most of which I have since lost. Luckily, I wrote my favourite one out in my diary, but in any case, that was when I really started to connect with poetry and creative writing.
The Writer is a Reader first
I’d always been into books, but it took a little while before I started reading lots of books. The moment my reading habits changed was when I read Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. I began reading more Young Adult books, and eventually read An Abundance of Katherinesby John Green. I loved this book so much, that it inspired a YA story of my own.
Currently, that story is 26 pages in Word, and is 15, 894 words long. However, the story has only really just begun, and is no where near finished.
But it remains one of the best things I’ve created in reaction to reading a book, so thanks John Green!
The Creative Writing Course
Up until this point, writing has clearly played a huge part in my life. Except, I didn’t realise that I could pursue this as a career. Writing was just something I did, it was a part of me and that was that. Yes, I read books and I wrote stories, but it took me a long time to make the connection between writing stories and being a writer.
In fact, I wanted to be a vet, or to at least work with animals. I got so far that I was offered a place on an Animal Management course. I sat opposite the course leader, and I basically turned the place down. I told her I loved books and reading, and she was impressed. Finally, a student who reads book!
This was the moment I began believing in fate, ad believing that there is something helping us along our path in life. Because you know what I also had? A place at the same university, but studying English with Creative Writing instead.
But, I hear you ask, you didn’t realise you could pursue writing! How come you applied for a creative writing course if you hadn’t thought about it?
Trust me, I’ve asked myself the same thing many times. The day I applied was one of the most stressful experiences of my life so far, and it was all a complete blur. I don’t know what possessed me, I don’t know if the planets aligned or what, but something in my subconscious made me apply for that course. Hand on my heart, I didn’t know what I had applied for until results day when I got accepted onto the course, and everything dropped into place.
Part 2 coming soon!
This post was originally published on my blog, you can visit it here.