Monday, February 13, 2012

How my writing dream began

D.L. Hammons, along with Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl), Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish  (Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment), are co-hosting the ORIGINS blogfest, where we share the origins of our writing dream.

My writing dream began when I was nine or ten years old, when I read Lassie Come Home. Captivated by a love that knew no challenge too great to give up, I immediately sat down and wrote a similar story about a girl and her horse who finds his way home to her. The next year, after reading My Friend Flicka and bawling my eyes out again, I immediately wrote another knock-off. And the year after that, inspired by the Last Unicorn, I finally came up with something a little more original (but oh, so corny!)

I started several more stories between age 10 and 15 and filled many notebooks with words, and day-dreamed about them the rest of the time I wasn't writing or reading. One story in particular continued to haunt me (a middle grade fantasy, Refuge), and during high school and college kept working on it, on and off (and have continuing working on it since, on and off, it has at least 5 different versions now).

By age 16 or 17, I knew that more than anything else I wanted to be a writer.

But somewhere along the line I was also taught that writing was not a practical way of living. I don't think it was my parents -I think they would have encouraged me with anything I was truly passionate about, but I kept my writing very private (afraid of being scorned). I went to college to become a biologist, and eventually a geographer, instead.

But I kept working on this one story, on and off, always sure that this was my true passion. I'd lose sight of it for a while, at different stages - (like falling in love, and later, starting a family) - but I'd always come back to it, each time more sure than ever that writing stories was my "destiny." (And I'm past the point of caring if that sounds corny or not).

I don't know if publication is part of that destiny. I am certainly striving for publication: analyzing books, attending conferences and exchanging critiques to improve my craft, trying to figure out which genre I want to commit to. But traditional publication is not something I "have to have" - not like writing, itself. It would just be icing on the cake.  I suppose to some that would make writing just a hobby, but it means so much more to me.

The ironic thing is that even though I am word-smith, I am not sure if I could actually express in words how much writing means to me.

Do you have a passion like that? something so deeply meaningful to you that's almost too much to express?

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