My friend Deb over at My Random Musings has been inspiring me a lot lately. This week she asked our Facebook group “Who or what inspired you to start writing? It’s a simple question isn’t it? Accept for me is wasn’t really. I had to think about it. I had two answers to this question:
That’s… actually a great question Deb. I’m going to have to think about this one because I’ve never really considered this. I think the short, most immediate answer for me is, having a mental illness, a big imagination, and a huge desire to write it all down.
Yeah, I would say that writing started with me as a kid with a diary. I started keeping a journal at 11 years old but writing wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I actually always wanted to be a singer/actress growing up. But dreams change as we get older and I always wrote in a journal through everything. I always had a book by my side to write down my thoughts and feelings. Eventually, I discovered that writing is what I want to do. It feels more like a calling than just a dream.
But I wasn’t done thinking about it. I had mulled this one over in my head for days. What did get me started in writing? Both of the above answers are correct. I want to elaborate on them though because writing has become so much more to me than fiction or blogging. It has become my outlet. When I look back I realize that it always was.
To elaborate on my second answer first, writing started when I was 11 years old. I had received my first diary on my 11th birthday. My aunt gave it to me as a sort of rite of passage. She said, “every girl should have a diary.” I actually still have that diary. I have all of my diaries. Writing started that day. I wrote in that book daily every night before bed.
The drawback of that diary – and every diary throughout my teenage years – was that my aunt also believed that she had a right to read my diary whenever she wanted because “what’s yours is mine”. Despite the fact that it was a severe violation of my privacy, I kept writing. There was a drive inside of me that I couldn’t explain. I HAD to write down all of my thoughts and feelings.
Looking back on those years and all of the pain I was feeling and the toxic environment I lived in, writing was a necessity for me. I never thought about it. I just wrote. It’s funny because as I write this I think about how I always thought music was my go-to. Music was my first love but now I know what role music has always played in my life. Music was my escape. But writing was my expression.
Music and Writing. You wouldn’t think the two would fit together so well but they do. They always did. Song writers knows this very intimately. Music allows me to escape but also inspires my writing. I hear a great song and suddenly I am in a different world that is all my own.
Meanwhile, writing inspires me all the time. Especially since I started my blog. I still keep a diary to this day but blogging has given me the opportunity to open myself up to total strangers and express myself in a way I’ve always wanted to but never thought I could.
This brings me to my first answer. During the worst parts of my mental illness I wrote less in my diary. Taking into account that I was also taking care of an infant at the time and my thoughts were so scattered, writing took a back seat. But by 2006 I felt a strong urge to finally start writing fiction as a way to express my emotions without talking about my real life.
After all, that’s what writers do. We take our pain and express it through fictional characters. I began my very first vampire story that year. Then I had my second child, worked on finishing up college and life became first while once again, writing took a back seat.
Fast forward to when I left my job three years ago and my blog was born. Since then I have been exploring different ways that I can get paid for my writing. It hasn’t been very successful but I feel like I am getting closer to my dream. I haven’t given up on my writing, even when I lost my mojo at times.
What about you? Who or what inspired you to start writing?
Thanks so much for reading!
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