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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.
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.ReplyDelete
I wish I had everything, Rick, but sadly you don't think too much about the future when you're a kid :-(Delete
Not a proper job? Just what is a proper job? Glad you didn't listen!ReplyDelete
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 :-)Delete
From boy bands to Alice Cooper? Those would have been some priceless stories. Glad you aren't a "proper" lady!ReplyDelete
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!Delete
Interesting the careers advisor would say that - sounds so negative. Good you didn't listen to her.ReplyDelete
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.)Delete
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.ReplyDelete
Floppy disk, lol. Can you still transfer them onto something else. Do floppy drives still exist?Delete
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!ReplyDelete
The experience made me determined I'll never tell my sons they can't do something they really want to.Delete
born to be a writer!ReplyDelete
wish you kept those early works too!
I'm glad you weren't discouraged :) Great origin story!ReplyDelete
I'm stubborn like that!Delete
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 :-)ReplyDelete
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!Delete
Great story. I'm glad you didn't listen too. It seems like writing is in your blood:)ReplyDelete
It definitely is, Marta.Delete
The first story I ever wrote was about a haunted house lolReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing!
There are so many possibilities in a haunted house! Thanks for stopping by.Delete
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!ReplyDelete
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.Delete
Awesome to hear your "backstory." Thanks for sharing it, Annalisa!ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading :-)Delete
It is too a proper job! I'm glad you didn't listen too. The world needs more writers.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
If you're ever in doubt, that's how you know for sure!Delete
Great story. Lucky you didn't opt for a 'proper' career.ReplyDelete
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.Delete
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. :)ReplyDelete
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!Delete
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. :)ReplyDelete
No one can accuse me of being logical :-) Plus, I have no idea what I'd do if I wasn't writing...Delete
I'm glad you didn't listen too ^_^ReplyDelete
Thanks Gwen. I really appreciate all your support :-)Delete
We're all glad you didn't listen! :) Thanks for sharing your story.ReplyDelete
Thanks Rachel :-)Delete
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.ReplyDelete
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.Delete
Oh know what you mean about early stories. I'm sure my family would get a kick out of them now.ReplyDelete
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.Delete
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.ReplyDelete
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.Delete
The life of a Victorian scullery maid ... in elementary school? Good for you! Is that one of the ones you still have?ReplyDelete
I don't think so, sadly. Although my parents are clearing out their loft this year, so who knows what will be unearthed!Delete
You were literally born to write! That is so awesome!! Thank you for sharing your ORIGINS for us! :)ReplyDelete
I don't know what I'd do if I didn't write!Delete
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.ReplyDelete
Your way is much cooler, though! And a perfect story idea?Delete
So wish I'd figured out that I was meant to write earlier....well done you!ReplyDelete
I think the fact you got there in the end is more important.Delete
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!ReplyDelete
As long as people want to read, writers will HAVE to write. Thanks for the follow!Delete
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. :-)ReplyDelete
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!Delete
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.ReplyDelete
Best of luck, and thanks for sharing your origins story!
Yes, journalism is a totally different breed these days. A shame though, great things can come out of good reporting.Delete
Great to meet you on this blogfest.I would have loved to read your re-telling of Snow White and Rose Red. :)ReplyDelete
your newest follower,
Welcome to my blog!Delete
High five for Guns N Roses and Poison. They were constantly in my tape player too, alone with Cinderella and Def Leppard.ReplyDelete
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.
It's a shame those stories are gone - it would be great to look back on them, wouldn't it?Delete
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 ;)ReplyDelete
Love the sound of your 14 year old self's story. Great writing soundtrack too!!
Throwing stuff away should be banned. Although if I kept everything from my childhood, there'd be no room for me!Delete
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 :-(ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by.
'A proper job'. *Laugh Out Loud*ReplyDelete
Good thing Writers are a tough lot!
It's good to *meet* you here in the Fest, Annalisa! Write on!
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 :-)Delete
Nice a story! just keep on believing in your self and then you realize that you are on top! keep it up.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by Jeremy.Delete