Monday, February 13, 2012
Origins - Why I Started Writing
I am writing this as part of the ORIGINS blogfest.
On February 13th, DL Hammond of Cruising Altitude 2.0, Katie Mills of Creepy Query Girl, Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish of Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment, are co-hosting the ORIGINS blogfest. The idea is that we post our origin story to tell you where our writing dreams began. OK - here goes, but now you'll know why I call myself 'Crazy California Claire'.
I have a dim, foggy memory of thinking about writing when I was about 11 or 12. But then, for some ridiculous reason, decided it would be a really boring thing to do and that I would not be any good at it. I've always been a reader though. Started on Enid Blyton (gotta love those Famous Five books) and haven't stopped since. Normally I have at least three books on the go at any one time. But the thought of actually writing one myself never crossed my mind again until 2007.
Back in England, I used to see a friend of mine for Reiki and sports therapy massage. She could speak to spirits and would sometimes say things while she was giving me Reiki. Messages that various spirits would give her. Sometimes it was a 'doctor spirit' telling her where best to massage, and other times there would be deep spiritual wisdom. I even remember one time when she had a woman spirit tell her she was one of my Guardian Angels, and would I please go out and party more! Now that's my kinda Guardian Angel. Anyway, I got used to this friend telling me things and as I do believe in past lives and Guardian Angels and such, it just seemed quite normal to me.
Then one day, after I had reconnected with my now-husband after 30 years apart and was living a roller coaster life of emotional highs and lows, she told me that the spirits were telling her that I needed to write. I said I didn't want to write, but she insisted. I just thought it was funny. But the next few times I saw her, she kept asking if I had started writing yet. It became a bit of a joke between us and then, when she wouldn't let up, annoying. She said she couldn't help badgering me about it as the spirits wouldn't leave her alone. I asked her what on earth would I write about and she suggested writing about meeting up with my soulmate after so many years. One day, I just gave in and said, "Oh alright. I give up. I'll write. Just stop bugging me about it." As soon as I agreed to write, she said they stopped talking to her about me.
Well, as I was in a life-transforming turmoil at the time, I did not actually start writing until about two years later when I joined an amazing writing group in Marin County, California. When I started writing, I discovered it wasn't boring at all. In fact, I absolutely loved it! Who knew sitting by yourself at a computer or scribbling in a book in a coffee house could be so much fun. I have now finished the 'first shitty draft' of the manuscript of my humourous memoir 'Right From The Start' and am thoroughly enjoying editing it into something that I hope will one day become a New York Times bestseller and blockbuster movie - well, I have been divinely prodded after all!
I uploaded the first three chapters onto Scribd (the first shitty draft, you understand) and so far they have had nearly 14,000 reads. It was such fun to have so many people read and comment on my writing that I have now uploaded 20 documents and had over 80,500 reads. Very validating for a fledgling writer, let me tell you. Click on the Scribd button on the right if you fancy reading a chapter or two. I will be uploading my revisions soon, which I hope are a vast improvement.
Ok - that's my story. What's yours? Why and how did you start writing?