Writing Blog

The Journey To Becoming A Writer I Didn’t Even Know I Was On

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Recently, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my love for writing. Personal issues have come to play and lately, my time to dedicate to my writing projects has dwindled. As creative people, when we and our day-to-day lives conflict with us working on our passions, guilt and frustration tend to set in.

At times, we even begin to question whether or not we are worthy of pursuing that creative passion any longer. I will be real enough to admit I’ve found myself thinking these thoughts. I’ve pictured people who’ve known about my writing pursuits saying to themselves, “Maybe she isn’t really passionate or a writer then.”

I mean, I’ve thought that. Why wouldn’t anyone else?

Which brings me back to my recent reflection times. Occasionally, in the last couple years, random memories have come to me; memories where writing has been my creative haven.

I’ve read and watched interviews from authors talking about when they began loving words. Most of them have stories about being kids in elementary, writing stories, winning contests, etc. Reading that, I’d sometimes sit back and wonder, “I don’t remember doing any of that…have I always loved writing?”

Granted, I call myself Dori because my memory is horrendous. Nonetheless, memories of nerdtastic moments have come to mind little by little. Moments that have all been a part of the journey I’ve taken towards being a writer…I just didn’t know it yet.

Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Earliest Nerd Memory

We had a neighbor who was close to my mom. Her daughter was in her later teens and I was seven, I believe. I don’t remember why but she offered to teach me cursive (script handwriting) and the excitement was big, people. Right now, my heart breaks just thinking about how cursive is no longer taught in schools. I…I can’t talk about that right now. *wipes dramatic tear*

Back in the day, third grade was the year in school you would learn cursive. I was in first grade when she began teaching me. I felt very cool and “adult”. *shakes head at seven year old me’s age perspective*

Needless to say, once third grade came around and cursive was introduced to the curriculum, this little girl right here was mighty happy and perhaps a bit gloaty. Yes, gloaty; a word I just made up, thank you very much. One of my earliest nerd memories.

Eleven Years Old, Breaking Rules, Loving Detention?

The school year was fifth grade and it was during the age of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”…man, I just aged myself. Anyway, I can admit, I’ve always been the goodie two-shoes of any group. This particular time, peer pressure created a situation where seven little snot-nosed eleven year olds weren’t as sneaky and cool as they thought they were. They got caught–dirty style. This led to an unusual form of detention for all of us that lasted five days.

One of the five days, our punishment was to meet after school in the library and sit at a round table where our principal announced we each had to write a 500 word essay. While everyone in the group groaned, I, ladies and gentlemen, lit up like a freaking Christmas tree. I was so excited to hand write in my nice little cursive an essay. My nerd colors flared hard and my “cool” group most definitely shaved off some of my own cool points.

Favorite Middle School Class Ever

It wasn’t the popular elective to choose but my seventh grade little heart didn’t care. I couldn’t believe I actually had the chance to take a Creative Writing class. Middle school had been a very dark period in my life. Poetry started becoming a frequent outlet for my emotions. This elective came into my life at just the nick of time.

Emotional Outlets Found Young

From a young age, I found comfort in journaling. Anything requiring stationary tools excited me. I once gathered all of the neighborhood kids and made them sign up to be a part a club that had no rhyme or reason. The whole point was to play with forms I had from my mother’s job. I set up a station in our backyard, made them line up, and fill out these forms that made no sense to us whatsoever.

I’m laughing because this memory actually just came to me and I can’t believe I made them do that. Talk about nerd-alert.

Journals. Right.

Collecting notebooks and writing down what I was feeling while sitting alone on the floor in my room was a frequent activity. Along with writing my emotions, I would dabble and play with poetry.  I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid. No one in my family is so I had no influences or access. (Now, I practically read a book a night; go figure.)

At this point, I was on a creative journey I didn’t even realize I chose to be on.

Since about eight years old, I had a dark, negative voice in my childhood who knocked down anything creative I shared. My confidence and self-esteem about any of my attempted passions was very low which taught me at an early age I should keep them secret. I still enjoyed them even if I was told I was horrible. I didn’t want to give them up, whether anything ever came of them or not. So, I began what became a staple habit in regards to my creativity; secrecy and solitude.

My first year of high school was the beginning of a creative breakthrough that would mold many years of my life to come. There, the battle between hiding my passions and taking small chances to peek out of my secured fort and seek validation began. Music, theatre, dance, and writing took center stage in my life. I was writing all the time. I wrote songs, I continued writing poetry, I wrote theatre plays and later, screenplays (movies). The idea was to go to school for film and theatre. These creative ventures consumed my life. Thus begun my journey towards writing novels.

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream

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People are going to place expectations and make assumptions about the things you love and pursue. They will happily let you know when they think something should happen by and how it should look like. Your audience and peers–and this applies to any and all forms of the entertainment industry–will set a standard. Once you’ve announced you’re pursuing this, which they too are a part of, a magnifying glass will be set over you like a stop watch; analyzing and waiting.

This isn’t always bad. You will welcome those into your life and process who will encourage you and be a constructive voice. They’ll talk you off metaphorical ledges and slap some sense into you when you need it.

Then you’ll have the bad. The pressure. The harsh criticism. The negative naysayers challenging your every move.

And last, you’ll have the innocent crowd who mean no harm. The ones who genuinely want to support you. They want what you declared to one day give them creatively and are waiting. And waiting. They wait while others just like you produce and wonder, why haven’t you yet?

In the end, yes, we create for them. But more importantly, we create for ourselves. We do it because it’s bursting through our pores wanting to sing out. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. It’s where we feel a bit at home.

Whether it takes you two months, two years, or twenty…Don’t quit your daydream. Keep dreaming. Keep creating.

hugs-des

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Writing Blog

2O17 WRITING GOALS

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Happy New Year, friends!

As always, it’s been a while since I’ve written up an actual post. What I HAVE been doing is getting acquainted with the other format features on WordPress, such as the Picture, Video, etc. that are not in any way new. The newer blog themes have made these old format features pop and I love being able to just drop a picture, video, or status and go about my day. I want to keep the blog moving even when I’m not able to write full-out posts.

This little blog and I have been through a lot and have seen many ups and downs. Some people are savvy enough to make money through their blogs but that has never been and is not at all my intention in the future. I wouldn’t even know how to go about that.

The whole reason I started blogging many years ago in the first place was for an emotional outlet. I express my emotions and jumbled thoughts better through writing than I can verbally. If this little nugget goes out into cyberspace and is seen by nobody, I’m okay with that. I just need to get some things out. Share a piece of me for perhaps that random someone out there who may stumble upon a post and end up glad they did. Those have been my past experiences with coming across random blog nuggets.

Anyway, enough with the ramblings! 

It’s a new year. That magical, proverbial reset button we all equally dread and look forward to. We can wipe the suckage from the previous year away and be the better “me” we seek to be and all that jazz. Yaddi, Yadda. You know.

For me, that means erasing the monumental suckage associated with my writing in 2016…2016, she hisses.

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Man, did I suck in the writing department last year. Life alone kind of took a massive, putrid smelling dump on me and my family last year but enough of that! Channeling Rafiki here…

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*Sighs* Oh, you little wise make believe monkey, baboon, whatever.

With this new positive outlook, let’s make some writing goals, shall we?! 

Now, these are my overall writing goals for the entire year of 2017. I’m still working on putting together my quarterly goals for winter just to help keep me on check. There are A LOT of things that were sitting pretty and waiting for me when the new year rang. It was easy to feel instantly overwhelmed by it. I may or may not have hid away in bed on the 1st, reading books and happily avoiding life while living in fictional worlds and characters.

But, no more slacking. I also like blogging these things because on the off chance someone is actually reading this, I feel accountable. Majority of my work is from home so it’s easy to lose that fire under your butt you need to get things accomplished.

WRITING GOALS

  • Writing a chapter a week

When I’m in a good writing zone, busting out a chapter a day isn’t hard at all but if I set up a ‘chapter a day’ goal, I KNOW I’m only setting myself up to feel disappointed later. I’m not being good to myself by doing that. Instead, I’m allowing wiggle room for life’s fun, unexpected moments. *glares at life* “Yeah, I’m looking at you, life!”

  • Finish drafting “G”

My main character of my current project–code name “G”–is soooo pissed at me. Okay, she’s fictional so probably not. You know who is pissed at me? My beta readers.

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You all still love me, dammit!

Any-who. Long story short, I allowed way too many circumstances and crappy days to determine the timeframe and direction of the things I most want right now. No more. We’re finishing G’s story because I’ve got other characters from new stories screaming at me to write them. Let’s do this thing! giphy-1

  • Start editing G

I also plan this year to not only finish G’s first draft but then begin the long and fun editing process. Like I said folks, we’re gonna get shit down this year.

  • Start drafting next project alongside editing G

Last, my writing goal this year is to start drafting a new project while I’m simultaneously editing G.

Okay, let me explain. First, this is for way, way down the road so, potential fall or winter this year. When I finish the first draft, I plan to take a step back from the project for a week in order to breathe and refresh my brain. In that week, I’ll probably start outlining the new project and then I’ll put that aside once I return to G.

So far, the plan is to do an entire reread of the first draft and start planning for necessary revisions while getting feedback from my critique partners.

By the time I’m editing the potenial final draft of G is when I’ll start writing the new project.

It’s totally doable. I’ve heard from many different authors who do this, especially when they’re having “block” days, they take a break and work on the newer project for a bit.

So, there it is. That is the hope and plan in regards to my writing for 2017!

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A good friend had to talk me down from the mental ledge I was on one day because I was trying to do everything NOW. And by everything, I mean write the story, launch marketing, build the platform, design and put out branding, “Oh my god, what is my author name officially going to be?”

Calm the hell down, Des!

My friend encouraged me to stop freaking out about steps which I’m nowhere near yet. The most important thing is first, the STORY. How about first finishing the damn story. Horse was being put so far beyond the cart. Yes, plan for the future but live in the now.

I needed to stop overwhelming myself with steps to the process that I’m not ready for. I don’t need to be thinking about those things yet. Planning for them gradually? Yes. Slowly researching and putting the information aside? Yes. Trying to officially have everything in place to launch a full out brand and marketing for a book that’s not finished nor has yet a title?

Um. No.

Plan for the future. Live for the now. 

Here’s to a new year, friends! I hope you’re excited. Even if in the back of your mind you’re skeptical, choose to be excited. Change will only happen when we make it happen. Focus only on the things you can control. No point in stressing about the things we can’t.

Whether you’re writing a book or just pursuing a dream–any dream–don’t give up! Set some goals. Make small, everyday decisions towards what you want.

Till next time!

hugs-des