Monday, 13 February 2012

Origins blogfest

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When did my writing dream begin?

Um... a long, long time ago. In fact, I can't remember a time when I didn't write, or want to be a writer. I know, I know... everyone says that - I am a cliche monster!

But did it begin with my re-telling of Snow White and Rose Red, aged about 7? Or the way I interpretted a primary school project to mean 'write a fictional account of life as a Victorian scullery maid'.

Or with my first 'novel' about a girl who discovers that her cousin is the lead singer of a boy band, when I was about 14?

Or with the first cheque, for £10, that arrived in the post, along with the magazine my short story was published in? (I reproduced that story here, if you're interested.)

All I know for certain is, I couldn't not write. I remember spending quite a lot of my time lying on my bed and writing. In the days of the tape player, I had a copied tape with Guns n' Roses on one side and Poison on the other. When it finished, I'd just turn it over. For months, that's all I listened too. Then it changed to Meatloaf and Alice Cooper.

I wish I'd kept these early stories, but I went through periods - every year or so - of throwing them out. I wasn't embarrassed by writing, but I understood that it wasn't something any of my friends did... it wasn't cool.

When I was 14, having just finished the above mentioned boy band novel whose title I can't remember, I told my careers adviser I wanted to be a writer. She started talking about journalism, and when I said, "No, a fiction writer", she said that wasn't a proper job. Which, though she may deny it now, was something my mum said too.

I'm glad I didn't listen.

72 comments:

  1. I just found the first story I ever wrote. In spite of all the faults in our early efforts, I'll bet you'd be as happy to have your first story as I am.

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    1. I wish I had everything, Rick, but sadly you don't think too much about the future when you're a kid :-(

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  2. Not a proper job? Just what is a proper job? Glad you didn't listen!

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    1. I'm not sure 'careers advisor' is a proper job, to be honest. But I wish I'd told her that, just to see her reaction :-)

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  3. From boy bands to Alice Cooper? Those would have been some priceless stories. Glad you aren't a "proper" lady!

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    1. I really have no idea where the boy band idea came from. I think it was basically me saying if Matt Goss (yep, it was Bros era) walked into my front room, I wouldn't turn into a jelly-head!

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  4. Interesting the careers advisor would say that - sounds so negative. Good you didn't listen to her.

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    1. A few years later, my sister was told her ideal career would be a funeral director. I don't think anyone takes notice, do they? (My sister isn't a funeral director, by the way.)

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  5. I've still got some of my own stories from back in the days of the dinosaurs when we still saved files to floppy disk. hehe.

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    1. Floppy disk, lol. Can you still transfer them onto something else. Do floppy drives still exist?

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  6. Snap! We would probably have got on really well as tweens and teens! I, too, was told that writing fiction wasn't a proper job. I wish I hadn't listened at the time but at least I'm getting back on track now! I truly think that was the worst advice I ever received and nobody should ever tell someone not to go for their goal or dream. On the other hand, I might not have had as much to write about back then as I do now... Great post!

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    1. The experience made me determined I'll never tell my sons they can't do something they really want to.

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  7. born to be a writer!
    wish you kept those early works too!
    great beginning!

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  8. I'm glad you weren't discouraged :) Great origin story!

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  9. Interesting how things change isn't it? I'm having serious conversations with my daughter about the best way for her to go if she wants to be a fiction writer :-)

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    1. My advice would be to get a good couple of years full-time work and savings under her belt. I was so convinced about writing, I couldn't think of anything else - I've only ever worked part-time, good for writing, bad for paying bills!

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  10. Great story. I'm glad you didn't listen too. It seems like writing is in your blood:)

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  11. The first story I ever wrote was about a haunted house lol
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. There are so many possibilities in a haunted house! Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Ah, that first check. A magical feeling! I tossed a lot of my early tales too. Luckily I kept some and recently published them as a short story collection. It was fun dusting them off and setting them out into the world!

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    1. I've kept all the ones I've written as an adult - I've considered collecting them, but I write such disperate things, I'm not sure they would work in a collection. It must have been a great feeling for you to do that.

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  13. Awesome to hear your "backstory." Thanks for sharing it, Annalisa!

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  14. It is too a proper job! I'm glad you didn't listen too. The world needs more writers.

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  15. Yes, we're all glad you didn't listen. "All I know for certain is, I couldn't not write." <-This really resonates for me.
    Thanks, Annalisa.
    xoRobyn

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    1. If you're ever in doubt, that's how you know for sure!

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  16. Great story. Lucky you didn't opt for a 'proper' career.

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    1. Thank you. I did think about other careers, but whenever I thought about the time the training would take, I always reasoned I'd prefer to spend that time writing.

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  17. Fantastic story! I'm glad you didn't listen either. We have similar musical tastes. It's been a long time since I listened to any of those bands, though! New follower. :)

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    1. I listen to GnR quite a lot, but the rest is still on tape - I never got round to updating it. What with the 80s blogfest, and reminiscing here, I think I should get some stuff downloaded. Thanks for the follow!

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  18. Very glad you didn't listen. :) That's the thing about fiction writing - it's rarely the logical choice so the choice to write is purely out of love. :)

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    1. No one can accuse me of being logical :-) Plus, I have no idea what I'd do if I wasn't writing...

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  19. I'm glad you didn't listen too ^_^

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    1. Thanks Gwen. I really appreciate all your support :-)

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  20. We're all glad you didn't listen! :) Thanks for sharing your story.

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  21. Yeah, I was told it wasn't a proper job, too. Nor horse trainer. I'm glad you didn't listen. Your life as a scullery maid intrigues me, as does the boy band novel. Cool.

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    1. There will always be a need for writers and horse trainers! I don't know where the scullery maid came from, but I remember it being quite a gritty end. And, it spawned a sequel.

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  22. Oh know what you mean about early stories. I'm sure my family would get a kick out of them now.

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    1. My mum remembers a story about a golden flying horse, called The Golden Horse, which I have no recollection of at all! Thanks for the follow.

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  23. Nice blog, glad I found it. Yup, I'm one of those who finally figured out that I can't NOT write. And I probably just used a double negative. Good post.

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    1. That's one of the rules you have to break. 'I can't not write' and 'I can write' have totally different meanings! Thanks for the follow.

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  24. The life of a Victorian scullery maid ... in elementary school? Good for you! Is that one of the ones you still have?

    Great story!

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    1. I don't think so, sadly. Although my parents are clearing out their loft this year, so who knows what will be unearthed!

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  25. You were literally born to write! That is so awesome!! Thank you for sharing your ORIGINS for us! :)

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    1. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't write!

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  26. Much better to listen to your heart. Or in my case - weird hippy spirits from another dimension! You definitely sound as if you've found your purpose.

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    1. Your way is much cooler, though! And a perfect story idea?

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  27. So wish I'd figured out that I was meant to write earlier....well done you!

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    1. I think the fact you got there in the end is more important.

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  28. When I was laid off my job (much to my delight), the company arranged for those who had lost their jobs to meet with a independent career counselor. It didn't work out for me in the end (timing wise), which didn't matter since I'm was going to be a stay-at-home mom and writer. I didn't tell the woman that. I can imagine she would have said the same thing as you got: that's not a proper job!

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    1. As long as people want to read, writers will HAVE to write. Thanks for the follow!

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  29. Yeah I kept my writing endeavors secret from the kids in my school because it wasn't something that they'd understand. Luckily, I have a grandmother who wrote for a living, so no one tried to tell me that I couldn't be a writer. :-)

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    1. My dream would be to make the A-Level reading lists when my kids get to that age, just so I could hear all the symbolism that I'm supposed to have in my work. English teachers are hooked on symbolism - at least mine were - and one of them still teaches my son!

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  30. These days journalism is more fiction than fact! Gone are the days of objective reporting, we're living in a world of sensational opinions, because that's what sells, as unfortunate as that may be.

    Best of luck, and thanks for sharing your origins story!

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    1. Yes, journalism is a totally different breed these days. A shame though, great things can come out of good reporting.

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  31. Great to meet you on this blogfest.I would have loved to read your re-telling of Snow White and Rose Red. :)

    your newest follower,
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  32. High five for Guns N Roses and Poison. They were constantly in my tape player too, alone with Cinderella and Def Leppard.

    I don't think I have any of the stories I wrote when I was a kid either. It was like what you said, none of my friends did it so it took a while for me to figure out I should be a writer.

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    1. It's a shame those stories are gone - it would be great to look back on them, wouldn't it?

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  33. I wince whenever I hear that people have lost their old stories. I think I've always been a hoarder though, which is both a good and bad thing now that I think about it ;)

    Love the sound of your 14 year old self's story. Great writing soundtrack too!!

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    1. Throwing stuff away should be banned. Although if I kept everything from my childhood, there'd be no room for me!

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  34. Glad you didn't listen. If you have a passion, there is no improper job.

    Bornstoryteller #125 (sorry for coming late: been trying to read the blogs and have a life)

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    1. That's very true! I had to wimp out of reading the entire list. I feel bad about it, but for a number of reasons I just have no idea who I visited and who I didn't. And I promised myself I'd be so methodical with this one :-(

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  35. 'A proper job'. *Laugh Out Loud*

    Good thing Writers are a tough lot!

    It's good to *meet* you here in the Fest, Annalisa! Write on!

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    1. Nice to meet you too Scarlett, thanks for the follow. Yes, we do have to have thick skins - baring ourselves to the world like that, and then asking for opinions too! It's madness :-)

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  36. Nice a story! just keep on believing in your self and then you realize that you are on top! keep it up.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!