Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG: June



It's time for June's IWSG post! The IWSG posts every first Wednesday of the month. June's co-hosts are: JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!


Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what made you come back to writing?

When I graduated college, although I was exhilarated to be a college graduate, I was also feeling pretty burnt out. I was a writing major. My school believed in that academic writing program thing of workshops and literary fiction, trying to channel their writing majors into Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and MFA programs.

That was not me. I didn't think I was a particularly good fiction writer, to be honest. It was the only kind of writing I'd ever wanted to do but I came out of college thinking I didn't have the chops. I didn't have a particular genre I was drawn to write (I had a few I was very drawn to, reading-wise). I was hardly the most talented, most praised, most encouraged, or most anything of my fellow writing majors.

But I didn't actually say, "I'm never creatively writing ever again. I quit."

I think I decided that trying to finish up a story I'd been writing and rewriting since college was the way to go, for some reason. I'd been wanting to write a real book since I was 12. I had time, after graduating grad school. I might as well write that book now.

Thus, Book the First. It's terrible, by the way, but it represents that last gasp of the stuff I was writing as a relaxer in college. It was never meant to be submitted in writing workshops.

I eventually came around to realizing that my entire personality is just..."writer." Storytelling is compulsive. The incremental improvements, the nuggets of info and technicalities, the satisfying (or not satisfying) shape of a story coming together and doing what it's supposed to...

There's no coming back from that sort of thing.

17 comments:

  1. Love this! I felt like my writing teachers were trying to turn us into the next "great American writer" like Harper Lee or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Writing genre fiction was certainly not encouraged, and my second teacher outright hated it. I think college is good for weeding out the people who don't really want to be writers. The rest of us, we'll find our ways back. It's just who we are.

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    1. There was definitely some of that great American literary writer thing going on, but there was also that great American contemporary writer thing going on as well and, I've come to realize, neither of those things are me.

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  2. Too true. I'm glad you were able to leap the gap and figure our your own brand of awesome. And book 1? Who ever wants the word to see that? LOL. Here's to learning and growing, eh?

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    1. Book the First was terrible--it's before I got over that "omg so much research" gap in writing historical fiction.

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  3. I suppose the trick is to find your niche. Just be who you are, and write what you write best.
    The world already had a Harper Lee and F. Scott Fitzgerald... and we all know that one of each person is enough.

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  4. Funny how we do that. Good or not, I'd write because I do it because I need to. I doubt I'll ever get rich and I don't care.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I think it starts with that. Making money with it, though, would be better :-)

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  5. 12 was the age I started writing my first book. We often need that start books. They are good for us. :)

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    1. Funny. 12 is when I decided I wanted to be a writer.

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  6. It's funny no matter how we try to escape it, it remains with us. 'Writer' is always part of our personality!

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    1. It's so true. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Keep being the fabulous writer that you are. After an intense work, like grad school, it makes sense that you needed a brain break.

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  8. I'm so glad you didn't listen to that negative voice. Who cares about writing the perfect literary work, the next great American novel? Write what you love and readers will see your enthusiasm and love your book, too.

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  9. We have to remain true to ourselves, especially in things like writing. Glad you hit your niche :)

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  10. I've heard that creative writing programs can sometimes be killer. Okay for me personally once I got my B.A., I had this whole panicked - but I need a real job feeling. But the writing never goes away does it?
    Anne from annehiga.com

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  11. So true! It's addictive as hell, though it torments us.

    I'm glad you didn't give up. Most of the writers lauded in college courses weren't appreciated until after death, anyway. And what fun is that?

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!