What drives you to write?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Herickson, May 20, 2011.

  1. Herickson

    Herickson New Member

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    So, this is a strange question, what was the journey that you undertook to become a writer and an artist? How did you come to realize "Hey, I am a writer, I am an artist." It took me quite a while to accept myself as an artist and then later I was able to start gaining the confidence to write. This took me quite a while and so I would like to hear the stories that our writer friends have experienced as well.

    A little about myself, since I believe it is appropriate that I start off the conversation with my own experience. I went to an art school, being around other artists at first was pretty daunting, especially since their stuff was plain better than mine, but I was a freshmen and they not only encouraged me, but helped me to improve. This was extremely important, since it inspired confidence and pushed me to succeed.

    Strange, but it helped me to get to that point where I said, I might be able to do this.

    Another thing that helped is that a friend of mine is a well known writer. She has a book deal and the works. Listening to her story was fun and gave me a place to start. This is not some realistic dream of mine, but a possible thing that could happen.

    A couple months later, I published my book. :)
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    I was young, twelve or thirteen, and an just starting to read adult books regularly. Early in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pirates of Venus I came across this paragraph:

    To my mind flashed the printer's story of the first perfect book. It had been said that no book had ever before been published containing not a single error. A great publishing house undertook to publish such a book. The galley proofs were read and reread by a dozen different experts, the page proofs received the same careful scrutiny. At last the masterpiece was ready for the press--errorlessl It was printed and bound and sent out to the public, and then it was discovered that the title had been misspelled on the title page.

    I hadn't thought before that of writing as a process. Nor, really, had I thought about buying books. Books were just there, around the house waiting to be read. But at that moment I understood that for a book to be read it must first be written, and instantly thought "I want to do that."

    So, I started writing. Many people discouraged me, including my father and several teachers. Some teachers tried to psychoanalyze me through what I wrote - and that set my writing back years. But I wrote. I also rewrote endlessly, trying to make every story perfect, and that badly impacted my output for a very long time. I submitted, and the results were very encouraging, although I was too ignorant to know it at the time. Rejections took six months to a year when the guidelines all said "six to ten weeks", I got personalized rejections (a form letter with a handwritten note) and even once a two-page personal rejection from (I think it was Gardner Dozois, but don't quote me on that) pointing out everything I'd done wrong. And I was too ignorant to know that that meant "Very close, send me more."

    About that time I tried to switch genres and the market for that genre collapsed. Then I switched again and the market for that genre collapsed, too.

    Then I gave up. For about ten years I wrote a little for my own amusement, but only that. Then I tries to start again and one thing after another stopped me for a month or a year, until my finances completely collapsed about nine years ago. After struggling to find a job for a long time, and facing eviction, I decided that - since I still had a roof over my head for another couple of months - I'd write a novel. It had to be fantasy, the genre I loved first and most. So I plugged away, mostly at night, until I had City of Light, completed at 95 000 words. Now I'm not satisfied with it in any way, and will likely take the characters and themes and try again in five or ten years, but it was the first novel I ever finished.

    Shortly after that, I got work. For about four years I was struggling with early mornings, a nightmare commute, and technological issues, as well as all the myths that kill writers. Then I discovered Dean Wesley Smith's blog about fifteen months ago, bought a shiny new computer about a year ago, and got back to work.

    With the changes in publishing, I intend to go indie and mostly electronic, but right now I'm struggling with getting back to writing daily and producing quantity. Some days it's a real fight. But it's a fight that I must win to keep my sanity.
     
  3. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

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    Writing does tend to consume your time....a lot of it. I started writing when I was 15, it was simple at first writing short stories, but during a calculus class in my junior year, I started to combine the stories into a full blown novel. Safe to say I failed that class. Once I graduated I focused 100% on work, which was good for a time. Then I started to daydream in my down time and the novel came back to me. During my breaks I started to type things out, emailing them to myself back home. Then I started typing at home. It began to consume me, it got to the point where I stopped going out with friends as often, I woke up at 430 in the morning for a 7:00 job so i had more time to write. While I was at work all I could think about was another chapter. Finally 6 years later, I finished my book Council Of Cul'tura, of course a fantasy novel.

    Ive still got the bug though, and have been crunching through my next novel, but now that I am close to finishing it, I find myself writing up the outline and details for a third, with a possibility of a fourth in mind. Ive still got a job, occasionally have a social life, but if I could make this my living, to be a fantasy writer, that would be perfection.

    So why do I write, because it is who I am, it is what I do.
     
  4. gumboot

    gumboot lorcutus.tolere

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    I've been writing seriously since I was about nine. My first "book" was when I was seven; I still have it somewhere. It was for a school project. A bit of a laugh to read now. I honestly can't remember why I wrote. I just did. Now it's something I can't imagine not doing.
     
  5. vstclair

    vstclair New Member

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    I always think it's funny when people ask when I realized I was a writer. I guess it was at age 11, when I started writing. To me it's always been simple: if you write, you are a writer. Granted, it took me another 15 years of writing novels before I got up the nerve to publish anything. I recently put out Fall of Kings, the first book of The Chronicles of Icthema trilogy, on amazon.com for kindle, and am about 2 weeks away from getting paperbacks put out. Once I got over my fear of strangers reading and criticizing my work, I've started making other books available on kindle as well.

    I think the weirdest part of being a writer, for me, is that no one really knew I did it until recently. I'm a chemical engineer by trade, and writing was always something I did in my free time to relax when things were going badly. So what motivates me to write has always been the escape into another world, and the challenge of it. Which is why I will probably write until the day I die, whether or not anyone else reads my stuff :D
     
  6. Nightfox

    Nightfox Assassin

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    I was 12 when I started to write. My stories were very simple. I grew older and with me my stories changed. With 14 or 15 I invented the world, in which all of my story take place in. At the same time I began with my first bigger project, a fantasy story, that had 175 pages at the end (on pc), but it wasn't a good story, it seemed to much like Lord of the Rings. I started a new story. First I had the characters and just started writing. I changed the story, made several concepts and now with the fifth try I think I have found the story, that I will try to publish, when it's finished. But until that it is a very long way. For the moment I just write my story, draw the characters and design my world.

    Why do I write? I like to tell stories, to invent characters, stories, names, countries, cultures, languages, history, rules for magic. While writing I'm feeling good. I can escape into a different world, even better, than by reading a book because I can design the different world by myself. I see aspects of myself in most of my characters, even in the bad guys or especially in the bad guys. Writing is a part of me. I think I will write, as long as I'm able to. I try to write every day at least some sentences.
     
  7. Eustace

    Eustace The One True Tsar

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    I have always written, never very much, a few lines on notepaper, or the first few lines of a story that never got off the ground... then I created a world at the back of an English Lit class when I was sixteen. It was very basic, and since all I ever seemed to want to write was epic fantasy I wrote close on a million words in this universe before I realised it was rubbish and deleted it all. After that I got involved in message boards, RPGs and the such like, I created characters that fitted into other's worlds until their background outgrew the universe they were in, at which point I created their own universe, where all my stories have been set since. Four years ago I finally finished my first book, and indie published it, and since then I've publsihed two more. My latest offering is on another board around here waiting for comments, incidentally...
     
  8. MonkeyPantsFlash

    MonkeyPantsFlash The Eager Scribe

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    I'm young, and as such, many people don't see me as a writer. But, I enjoy writing and coming up with stories to tell. I love world building; it's a way to take what I see in the world and create my own.

    I found that I liked writing about 2 years ago, when I finished 5th grade. During the summer, I was bored often and needed to do something, so I used my imagination to come up with stories and people, and I started writing things down, and It just evolved from there. I still write everything down, and have about 3 different notebooks filled.

    I hope to write my first book soon, because I have an idea already for the story. I hope people like it, because I dunno if they will.
     
  9. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I only have one writing project right now, the only one I've decided to do outside of school, and it is purely because I feel like I have a story to tell. I'm getting help from friends on it too, I want them to take the opportunity to tell their stories through my story as well. I feel that also, the story I want to tell is the story that some people can't speak for so my story is really just a bundle of other stories twisted together like a rope.
     
  10. Skye Blue

    Skye Blue New Member

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    I have always loved world building: just seeing a place in my head and forcing it to appear on page after hour after grueling hour. And then, once the idea of it is finally there, I love creating the people and cultures there, twisting them from mirrors of our world's people, or just completely trying to create new ones. I also write because I like to examine the motives that drive us, and why we do what we do. The idea of larger impact, and how what we do also effects others is a huge factor in my writing.
     
  11. Macabre Harbour

    Macabre Harbour I only sing when I'm winning...

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    I enjoy words, it's as simple as that. I enjoy reading them, I enjoy placing them in a particular order which tickles my fancy even if that order is unlikely to amuse anyone else. Ever since I was a child I've been fascinated by the structure of language, by the sheer power of it in the hands of proper wordsmiths. This led to an aspiration to try and replicate the work of my favourite authors.

    Sadly I lack the wit or will to truly deserve a place at the table of such luminaries as Tolkien et al, but I've always been of the conviction that the journey is more important than the arrival: the sun will eventually die, the human race will eventually succumb to oblivion, unremarked by whatever sentient beings inhabit other parts of the universe. This being a given in my mind, all that's left is to enjoy the brief flicker of light which our momentary existence affords.

    Writing is my candle. It's a delicate thing and self-doubt, apathy, life, are all capable of extinguishing it at any moment. Yet I persevere, because when I do get things right, when the words align themselves in such a way that it gives me a jolt of joy to read them, there are very few things which can compare.

    I don't expect my fiction to survive my passing. This doesn't bother me a great deal. Whether good or bad (most definitely bad) I know my stories are as unique as my fingerprints, a cry into the void which could only ever have been produced by someone in my skin, living my life, in my era. The fact that no-one will ever hear it is pretty much irrelevant - even the greatest human beings Earth has produced will be forgotten, their works consigned to irrelevance. The point, for me, has always been to make the attempt. This I have done. I can die happy.
     
  12. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

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    I haven't started to write yet, but I've got the ideas brewing in my head, and a determination to do it. I've just yet to get around to it