Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Writing History

When I was three or four, I sat down one day with my brother's copy of Robinson Crusoe, and a notepad. I started 'writing' Robinson Crusoe. I guess in my little mind, if I copied all the words in one book, it would mean I had written my own book. I didn't get very far, because after all, a child that young has a fairly short attention span, and my little fingers got tired.

Flash forward ten years, and my best friend (at the time) Maria and I were having a sleepover at her house. She showed me the book she was working on writing. She was only about twenty or thirty hand-written pages in, but that night we stayed up late talking about the book and working on it. I had my grandmother's old mint green typewriter at home, so I took her scrawled pages and began typing them up. While I was typing, I edited and added to what she'd already written. Over the course of the next couple months, she wrote some by hand at home and transferred those pages to me at school. I wrote a lot on the typewriter, sometimes incorporating what she'd written but sometimes just winging it on my own. We got together for a couple more sleepovers and all-night writing sessions. After a while, she got bored - and probably more than a little pissed that I'd taken over the project. A couple more months of hunting and pecking and worn out typewriter ribbon, and I got bored myself.

Flash foward another ten or so, and I sat down at my fiance's (at the time) computer and began writing a romance novel while he was out of the house. When he found out, he was rude and deprecating and just generally sullen that I was spending time writing about romance. (After all, I shouldn't need to write about it when I had it at home. Right? Ummm... no.) I took the book, saved it to disk, and never touched his computer again.

Finally, in late January 2004, I lay in bed thinking, and Spectacle popped into my head. (Or at least the germ of an idea that eventually spawned Spectacle.) I got up and wrote the idea down. The next day after work I wrote like a madwoman. I did that every night for days. In fact I was about 4 chapters in when I met this wonderful stranger on the internet and after some rather lengthy talks, he asked me the pertinent question I'd never thought to ask myself. "If you could do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do?" My answer was that I wanted to write. Okay, the first answer was that I wanted to raise horses, but only because I never thought of writing as a feasible occupation. He prodded me further and got to the real truth. Immediately after I said 'writing', he told me something I will never forget. "If you want to write, then write. Don't talk about writing, don't dream about writing. Just write."

I have been doing exactly that ever since. This wonderful stranger - who btw, I married - did even better by giving me the freedom to write on my own schedule and telling me I didn't have to get a job after we got married.

So what's your story?

6 comments:

CTaylor said...

Oh what a lovely story! Sounds like you definitely ended up with the right man :o)

ERiCA said...

I echo ctaylor--you totally ended up with the right guy! I started similarly to you... sleepovers with my then-BF Elizabeth where we took turns writing in a spiral notebook (she'd have it a few days/weeks, then me, etc) Ah, good times! =)

J.L. Murphey said...

I've always been a story-teller as far back as I can remember. Like you, I was encouraged by my husband to start writing again after a ten year break, but this time I changed to fiction based on nonfiction.

Shannon said...

I missed this post yesterday, darn. Just wanted to say how great it is that your hubby is supportive of your writing. Mine is too, but I meet so many woman who don't have that support, or worse-get ridiculed for it. He's absolutely right, and that's what I've decided to do...just write. :-)

Rachel Vincent said...

I clicked over here to thank you for commenting on my blog, and I discovered your writing history. What a wonderful story. ;-)

Mine is similar, in that my sig. other pushed me into finally writing the book I'd always "threatened" to write. Actually, he dared me to do it. And not just to mess around with it, either. To sit down and write it. We agreed that I'd give it three years, and if I hadn't sold by then, I'd go back to teaching.

I've never looked back. And I'm no longer a teacher. ;-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks everyone. I think he's pretty special. That's probably why we were married 4 months after we met, and we've never regretted it for a second. :happy dance:

Thanks for stopping by, Rachel. My daughter was thoroughly impressed when I showed her your comment. "Awe-some! Didn't she write Stray?" =oD

(You have to hear the way she says 'awesome' - it always has that break in the middle. Oh to be almost 14 again.)