How I Got Here, Part 2

Right before I started college, I remember being told that I wasn’t really a writer because I didn’t “eat, sleep and breathe” writing. That was because I had declared a biochemistry major. And the decision to be a biochem major was in large part because I was convinced that I needed a “real” major so that I could get a “real job.” You know…”just in case.” (Wow, that’s a lot of quotes…but justified, I think). Those ideas solidified more and more as I went along in college (eventually switching from biochem to microbiology and adding psychology) until my personal creative writing efforts just petered out.

Clearly, I had some seriously mistaken ideas about writing in general. And those ideas clearly led to a major case of writer’s block. Realistically, I know that not everybody who writes a piece of fiction is going to get published. Yet, it’s just as clear that many writer’s do get published. At some point, everybody who is published at all is published for the first time. So, why not me? Why not even allow for the possibility? I’m pretty sure that book contracts and agents do not fall out of the sky or just show up on one’s doorstep. I’m guessing that the authors who do get published are often the ones who are persistent and seek to always be growing in their art.  Again…why not me?

That’s the question I began to ask myself very soon after starting this journey. It’s the question that drives me now. The possibilities…they are both terrifying and thrilling. Why not try? What have I really got to lose?

And another question: why make being a published novelist the only mark of being a “real” writer? Why not just write the way that I used to when I was a kid? I used to write because I couldn’t not write. I simply had to write. I was a writer then and I am a writer now. I want to write for the sake of writing and seek to be a published novelist.  Yet, in the end, the story is all that should matter. The story has to be told…whether to an audience of a few or many.

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Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “How I Got Here, Part 2

  1. Darla

    Hi, Sonia:

    I found your blog via the WordPress “writing” tag. Congratulations on starting your blog! I especially appreciate reading this post because it echoes recent thoughts I’ve had about writing. I’ve been blogging in the private mode (not open to search engines) for over a year now, and I have learned a lot from the experience. This year I plan to put myself “out there” and use what I’ve learned to try and help fellow amateur writers like myself. I love your question, “Why not me?” It’s the same one I had when I thought about creating a writing site (one of a million, I’m sure!) for those of us who have this dream. Here’s to a great year of writing for you!

    • Thank you so much for your well wishes! I wish you a great writing year too! I hope you do make your blog public. I’ve been discovering that these blogs are an amazing way for writers (anybody really) to connect. Already I have come across several blogs with posts that have really helped me. It feels like there’s so much creative energy running around. I know there are lots of folks like us who are just starting our journeys. I love that we can share with eachother and help eachother.

      • I will most likely continue to keep the search engine off my personal blog (Afternoon Tea, darsba.wordpress.com), but my plan is to create a site just for amateur writers. I get visits to Afternoon Tea via family, friends, and others who share the link. But I’d like to become focused on writing by having a separate blog. Stay tuned!

        • Great! I definitely wanted this blog to be focused on writing. I might start a personal blog or one on parenting. Or even one of my other interests. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself just yet. I’ll check out your blog. Thanks for the link!

  2. Hi Sonia, Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I’ve been reading your past posts and enjoying them. You are now in my google reader so I’ll be following you along. It’s always nice to reach out to other writers. The blogging community is wonderfully supportive.

    I agree with what you said about writing for the sake of writing. Th story is the important part, publication is what comes afterward, but it we keep our eye on the goal of publication at all times we can risk stifling our creativity.

    Nice post!

    • Thank you so much! I had no idea when I started that I would find such a wealth of information and encouragement. It’s been so wonderful!

  3. “I used to write because I couldn’t not write. I simply had to write. I was a writer then and I am a writer now.” You got it exactly in those two sentences. If you write, you are a writer. However, it’s fun to jump into the waters of self-publishing and give others the chance to benefit from your writing.

    • It’s amazing how we often feel like we have to validate “I’m a writer.” We feel like we have to jump through certain hoops. Now “author” is a different story. One needs to finish a story for that. Then “published author” is yet another story. And then maybe “published novelist.” Or “acclaimed novelist” Or…”best-selling novelist.”

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