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My Journey to Writing

My journey to writing started out a bit different than most. This is due largely to the fact that my journey to reading started out quite different than your average avid reader. My parents never caught me with a flashlight under my covers, trying to read after lights out. As a kid I hated reading. I hated it to the point that when we had a half hour of reading time in third grade, I would sit there, with a book in my lap, staring at the page–and not reading. I realize now what a waste that was, and I mourn the books I could have read if only I had given it a chance. But reading on my own just didn’t interest me.

So, why the turn around? I moved. When I was fourteen I moved from Arizona to Missouri. It was the beginning of summer, I knew no one, and so I started to read. And I never stopped. In high school, I was the girl who hid a book under her desk and read instead of listening to the chemistry lesson.

I did start writing before I liked reading, but it was never any good. No matter how good a story you have to tell, you can’t tell it effectively if you don’t have the tools. And I believe that being a reader is an essential part of being a writer. So once I had the love for reading, I gravitated naturally toward writing classes. I planned on majoring in theater but after switching colleges a couple times, I discovered that I had a whole truck load of English classes under my belt and so I ran with it. One of the best decisions I ever made was taking a play writing class. If you ever want to really learn how to write dialogue, try writing scenes of nothing but dialogue, and then having them read out-loud by your peers.

I am fortunate to come from a very literary family. My sister has been my editor since I started writing stories when I was thirteen. I can pretty much credit everything that I know about grammar, to her. That was another side affect of hating to read when I was a kid. I didn’t care about the grammar and punctuation lessons, so I made it all the way to high school without having a firm grasp on the english language. That has certainly complicated things, but I’m happy to say that I have a much firmer grasp now (though I’m still working on it).

So, here I sit, on the brink (a very long brink) of publishing my first novel and it’s fun to look back at how I came to be here, how I came to classify myself as a writer. I find it quite satisfying.

Published inWriting Process

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