When I was young, and foolish, and even through high school, I didn’t like to write. I hated to write. Not only that, I was terrible at it. Still am to some extent. But I hated it. I managed to get through the five paragraph format with the bare minimum of words and counted every last one of them. It was impossible to get me to write even a short story, even a poem, without pulling teeth and even then I’d find a way out of it.
Never did I dream that I would be writing two books and hoping both would be published.
What made it so bad was that I had no voice. As much as my teachers tried to get me to write I didn’t know how to write in any particular way. It was just words on a page. I didn’t know how to say the things I wanted to say, or how to spin a sentence on so that it contained all the words needed to be satisfactory. These are things that were never taught to me. It’s tragic, really tragic, that I failed so miserably.
Teachers weren’t helpful either. They just had a student that was poor at writing and left it at that. One thought I was intelligent and couldn’t put it together how I was a miserable writer on top of it. The two didn’t seem to go together. So I bluffed my way through high school, and was somehow admitted to college. Albeit, a two year college.
There I discovered what a wretched writer I was. I have a vocabulary, a pretty good one. When I’m in the mood it’s down right Joycean. But I rarely am in the mood. The vocabulary got me so far, but with writing I had to take the most basic compilation courses. Blegh. I’m still taking a comp course, right now. But it wasn’t until a philosophy class that I wanted to write better. That would be when I was twenty. I really wanted to do well, I wanted to know how to do well, and after writing 8 papers in that class, all around 9 pages long, I got better.
It was then that I started writing short stories.
They were terrible short stories, but I caught the bug. I started to write here and there, mainly in manic moods, and turned out a few completed ones for every dozen incompleted stories. I still have a sci fi series that I would love to do as a graphic novel one day with a friend who is an illustrator. But it went no where. I liked to write, but I didn’t think much of what I did. After years of being told I was a bad writer it sank in, that I couldn’t write no matter how hard I tried.
And then last spring, I started to write. I wrote my first short story in quite a while. And I didn’t just write it, I rewrote it and edited it and spent a lot of time on it. I still like it, even though it’s very raw and now that I have a voice I would do things radically different. Then I bought a moleskine. I took down ideas for another short story. And then another and wrote in that since my laptop was dead. I spent days writing as a release and discovered how good it felt to create in the medium. I wrote one story that was an experimentation in violence. It wasn’t long, it was only a few pages at best, but it was an attempt to move outside my comfort zone.
I tried a few writers forums, big mistake, they don’t like anything outside of mainstream commercial dreck. And I lost some confidence because I thought it was me. But my mania started to take hold. I wrote it into a scene with a few additional pieces. Then I found those pieces needing back story, and soon it began blossoming into a novel. That was Drazi. My first novel, first first novel. It’s burned electronically. I’ll never see the light of day. But it was my first attempt. The satisfaction with finishing it was incredible, even though it was garbage.
It was the month after finishing that, September, that I wrote all of UpMeDownMe. I wrote it, rewrote it, ignored the rest of the world, and fell into the spiral of creating it. This, from someone who couldn’t write more than 500 words to save his life. After completing it, and rewriting it, and editing it, and sending it off all in one month I took a break.
The bug bit.
I’m writing another novel right now.
From someone who couldn’t write, who hated writing, now it’s all I can do.