I am a writer, it’s what I do. I think we’ve successfully established this fact. I started writing scripts when I was around twelve. My first script was of Cinderella in which I wrote, and then directed my little sister and her playmate. From there the imagination when wild, it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I attempted to write a ‘novel’.
I completed my first ‘novel’ when I was eighteen. It was a fantasy based on the music from Phantom of the Opera. It was really an outlet to live out a fantasy about a guy I had a crush on. He shall remain nameless but will always hold a special place in my heart. Back then at eighteen I yearned for love, romance, and that fairy tale ending. I dreamed of it, I craved it. I wrote about it. A LOT. I have written so very much…crap… yes I said it. Crap. I was writing crap.
I didn’t get it and the worst part was that I didn’t even know that I didn’t get it. I was eighteen, I knew everything there was to know…right?
We were all there…just admit it. You’ll feel better.
So why didn’t I get it? What was the big mystery?
They say write what you know. To write a book teaching Karate you should probably know the meaning of a Bushido (way of the warrior, code of conduct).
I write romance (i.e. Relationships and love) what the hell does anyone know about love at twenty? Not me.
I didn’t get it because I hadn’t experienced it yet.
It reminds me of that episode of the Facts of Life (I am so dating myself) where an early twenties Tootie goes to New York to audition for the Wiz. She could sing, dance, and act but when the director rejected her she couldn’t figure out why. She asked him and he said you don’t have enough experience. She argued that she could learn and he stopped her and said “No, Tootie, you don’t have enough life experience. You haven’t even started to live yet…”
I was young when I saw the episode (yes I was young, stop snickering) and so the depth of the statement didn’t hit me until years later. (I have to say I do feel odd stating that the facts of life was ‘deep’ LOL!) Anyway back to my point, I have discovered that wisdom comes with experience. Our parents said it, our teachers, our mentors, but you really don’t get it until you are the one saying it.
Life experience (if we learn from its lessons) gives us everything we need, including the confidence to do what we need to do and understand why we need to do it.
So what has life given me? What does my experience so far mean to me?
I write romance because I am in love with the all of the possibilities that a true, honest, love brings. I write about relationships because they are hard and rough, but they are also rewarding and can offer true companionship in a lonely world. I write about love because I’m in love. I know love. I understand the way it thinks, breaths and touches. I know how it looks and I know how it feels.
Until I reached the end of my yellow brick road I knew I had to write but I never knew why.
Now I do.
They said to write what you know.
Who am I to argue?
When Dorothy gets to the end of the road she realizes what’s important to her and why. She took the journey and came out the other side better for it. Hopefully we all have a long yellow brick road ahead and more importantly, that we arrive on the other side better than we started.
Just in the past year, as a writer, I have grown by leaps and bounds. We I am still growing as a writer and as a person.
I was recently sent an invitation to join in a contest. This is not something I normally do, for several reasons. First, I tend to be long-winded (go figure) so I never had anything short enough to submit. In addition I don’t do the ‘write on demand thing’. Well I didn’t, until now.
The contest intrigued me and I batted around the possibility of whether or not I wanted to go there. Then yesterday morning I came up with a nugget of inspiration as far as a plot. So I batted it around some more. My major concern is that there was a word limit (max 3,000) approximately six pages. How the heck do you tell a worth while story in six pages?
The answer is quickly.
So I took the challenge, a deep breath, and started to write. Three hours later I had 2,700 words and a pretty compelling tale. Wait…I actually pulled it off and I didn’t have to edit anything to get the word count down? No way! Seriously? Well damn. I never knew I had it in me. Now, is it contest winning material? Well that remains to be seen, but hey I went there. I needed to go there to prove to myself I could. To open that door.
So while I am not stating that I am going to roll out a catalog of short pieces I won’t be so quick to turn away from an opportunity.
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