Welcome to the third installment of The Curious Idiot. I don’t plan on making this blog an everyday thing but I can only control my impulses for so long. For anyone aspiring to be a writer, practice makes something and something is better than nothing. With that said I’d like to talk about my journey in becoming a writer. The time I caught a case of… the Writing Itch. (cue the dramatic music)
Becoming a writer.
The writer’s itch is a semi-contagious ailment that causes some changes in the human it decides to inhabit. Like a parasite it searches for that special host to live , eat, and redecorate. Unfortunately as it takes in more nourishment, the shit that comes out can either be a turd or a pile of gold dust just waiting to be forged into something of value. Unfortunately for writers (myself as the main subject), these early stages have been filled with a lot of the not so good stuff. Fear not though for inside every turd is the key to producing what you need for the future. It’s time to get your hands dirty. (Yikes that visual…) and no more potty humor promise.
The Beginning. Patient Zero
When I first got the writers itch, I was in college. I went to school for Game Design a dream that was never going to come to life (I can still dream). We were working on a capstone project that was being overseen by a Professor (We’ll call him X… no taken… F yep!) Our original idea was a simple shooter game that was a combination of Uncharted with a bit of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (That water temple though…). After seeing our plans Professor F. was impressed but felt we could do more. This lead to the creation of the Dream Team lead by myself, a large woodland creature and ten or so little dwarfs all shepherded by our Fairy God Professor. In what would turn into a magnificent pile of well… Nothing, the project was abandoned but the experience we gained was exactly what we needed to understand that working in the creative world is hard. I was disappointed, but it was the beginning of my writing career even if I didn’t know it yet. (achoo!… ok that was cheesy… Worth it.)
Fighting the illness.
The band wasn’t getting back together but the story that was started kept floating around in my head. A career in tech couldn’t stop me from thinking about it from time to time. Each time I tried to write, garbage was put on the page. I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Rewrite after rewrite I felt as though I was progressing only to come back to the same place. It wasn’t until I was laying around with my new girlfriend at the time (now Fiancé) and the subject of writing came up. She told me that she was writing a book. I then proceeded to make the big mistake of asking to read it… (Guys don’t do that). After an hour of going back and forth with it, I told her she could read my book (chapter.. word vomit… you get it) if I could read hers.
This is where it all changed. I pulled up the dusty open office file on my desktop and there it was… She pushed me out of the way (lovingly), sat at my desk and began reading. I sat there ripping my fingernails out as she read the words on the pages. Everytime I tried to explain myself she hushed me and told me to go sit down (Yes dear…) When she was done, I was ready for the kill shot… I sucked… It was a terrible feeling. She looked strait in my eyes and the next three words changed my life forever. “I want more.” I couldn’t believe it. She liked it! Of course there was a lot wrong with it but the idea to her was a pure golden nugget. I was a new man as of that moment. I was a writer and it was ok. There were and still are growing pains that I would need to go through but I could make it happen. Better yet, we could go to the support groups together now.
If you haven’t read my previous post on the three things you need to ask yourself before becoming a writer, Click on this link here. Finding that person(s) to be my support system was essential to my writing career and it will be for you too. In the comments below please state your name, (username works fine), tell the group why you’re here, and how long its been. I’ll go first. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
2 thoughts on “Episode 3: The Habit Continues…”
“Tell us your name?” The moderator points at me out of the group.
I stand surrounded by the many “Hello Everyone, I am Michael Ranquest”
“Hello Michael” The crowd calls back as if in a trance.
“Tell the group why you are here” The moderator looks at me with dead eyes. She has seen many come before me and knows I wont be the last.
“I have had the writing itch since 2010″ the crowd sympathyses with me as they too have contracted the itch. ” But there is hope. I have accepted the itch. I am learning to live with it, learn from it, embrace it. and I just wanted to let everyone here know… You can do it too!” the crowd is silent except for one person in the back. Everyone looks in her direction. That person’s name? Game Changer!
Support systems are crucial. Blogging is a great way to test the waters with writing samples. I do caution you on sharing too much of your work in progress (WIP). When I’m writing a new project, I tell nobody (Not even my husband) until I’m done. Everyone has “suggestions,” and they mean well.
What I have recently learned to do is reach out to other writers. Twitter is a vast source of writing support and information. Search for #amwriting #writerslife #querytips #amediting #amrevising, and you’ll find others that you can relate with. If you don’t have a writers group(I don’t), you can find other to be critique partners from twitter that write in a similar style or genre as you. It is a give-and-take relationship, basically, you show each other your goods and they make edits and suggestions using “Track Changes.” I’ll be blogging about that soon. Have fun writing and getting that “I want more” is the biggest ego boost a writer can hope for. Congratulations on that.