Happy New Year!
In an attempt to renew my writing goals, I joined DIY MFA Book Club. This post is inspired by the prompt: How did you become a writer?
My earliest memories of writing are from age around eight. I would watch movies and record every line of dialogue, scene detail, and action until I captured the whole movie on paper—yes, this was pre-internet! Why do I suddenly feel so old? Back then, my favorite movies included The Lost Boys, Legend, and The Three Musketeers. I had grand ideas of my sister and I performing the movies as a play, but that never happened. Turned out I just enjoyed the writing process, and once I finished, I’d move on to the next movie.
The following year, I’d moved on from screenplays to fiction. I wanted to write my own Goosebumps novel. It was a short-lived dream. The book wasn’t shaping up to my harsh, 9-year-old standards, so I trashed it and abandoned that dream. There were plenty of books to read, I didn’t need to write my own. Then, I discovered Stephen King, and he shaped the rest of my childhood.
In my teens, goth angst provoked a return to writing but in a new form: dark, angry, antisocial poetry heavily influenced by Marilyn Manson and The Cure. Short-form was my limit. I started a few novels, only to hopelessly abort them a few pages in. I still have much of this drivel, mostly poetry. No, you can’t read it.
Perfectionism is my crux. Nothing is ever finished to my satisfaction, nothing is ever ready. If it hadn’t been for a long cold and a certain highly-imperfect, commercially successful book (which shall remain unnamed) that convinced me to believe in “good enough”, that a novel doesn’t have to be perfection to be enjoyable or successful, I never would have published—let alone started—Dead Like Stars.
I’m slowly pulling Darkling Like Stars (book two in the Bloodlife series) together. It’s taking me longer than expected due to this strange, unpredictable thing called life, which has driven me to therapy and literature on interpersonal relationships. Perhaps I’ll tell you about it sometime, but chances are it’ll all come out in my fiction.
In what unlikely places have you found inspiration? What’s motivated you to pursue your dreams?