I know some people are born to write, but I am not one of them!
The writing bug fluttered into my life when illness laid me low. I was desperate to get back to work full-time and taught myself to write with my left hand – it was legible (sort of) but so slow. When my left hand suffered like my right, I started typing with speech software. I spent many an afternoon shouting into the microphone – everyone knows if you shout at it, it works better … right?
Obviously I needed more practice – lots more practice!
I couldn’t focus for long but I re-discovered a yen for poetry. As my health improved I attended a writing course, joined a writers society and spoke out a few (really dreadful lol) short stories. Then I ran out of ideas. A brilliant career nipped in its tender bud! Corporate writing no longer held any excitement, in fact by this stage I couldn’t remember how I’d ever enjoyed it. I sought inspiration but failed to find it.
Then a friend gave me an opening line I loved and I started writing a short story. At 5,000 words, my sister, a few friends and my new writing class mates kindly encouraged me. At 10,000 words, I should have stopped and neatened up the short story. Instead, I kept going, I reached 35,000 words and realised I didn’t want to stop.
Thank you Graeme for the opening line, and Jenny also for loving my characters as much as I do and staying with me through many versions and revisions 🙂
The opening line has changed, but those words that inspired me are still in my story.
That was 18 months ago, since then I’ve devoured craft classes and books and written many more words than I’ve kept; and written and removed scenes, settings and characters. I knew how to write marketing material, but it’s nothing like writing a novel; the journey of discovery is full of challenges and frustration, but mostly it’s full of joy.
Have you ever misplaced your inspiration? Where did you find it?