Origins-- Where did your writing dream begin?

Feb 13, 2012

Today is the Origins blogfest hosted by DL Hammons, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Katie Mills, and Matthew MacNish. I'm always fascinated by how writers got their start in writing, so I'm joining the fun! (I hope you find it fun, and not completely boring...I'll do my best not to be boring.)

Though I've been writing since I was a wee one, a few moments stick out as driving me along the writing path. In fifth grade, we read the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. That book completely blew my little eleven-year-old mind. It was set in the future. Characters I thought were good did bad things. And it didn't end all tied up and happy! I couldn't get the story, its characters, or the questions it made me ask out of my head.

For the first time in my life, I realized that life itself was full of ambiguity (yeah, I totally used that word as a fifth grader. Or not.). And I decided I wanted to write books just like The Giver, ones that made people think, that made people stay up at night trying to decide what the book meant to them, and wonder what had happened to the characters you loved so much that were left hanging at the end.

So for the next fourteen years, I feverishly wrote short stories, novellas, and one smashtastically horrible novel. I gravitated toward sci fi, and toward stories that addressed questions I had about life. Then, a few months after my son was born, my intuitive hubby gave me a signed Brandon Sanderson book for Christmas, 2009. Better than that, he passed along Brandon's open invitation to attend his science fiction and fantasy writing class.

That class was where I finally put together everything I'd learned from my English lit degree and creative writing classes. I learned what tools I needed to create a story and get it published. It led to my critique group. It led to writing half a novel, trashing it, and writing another in just over a year. Most importantly, it led me to decide that I was going to learn and do everything I could possibly need to write the stories I wanted to tell, and share them with an audience.

And so, two years later, here I am! Still working toward that dream.

So, my friends, where did your writing dream begin? We all started somewhere, and I'd love to know where that somewhere was for you!

27 comments:

Adrienne said...

What a great story, Shallee! I love how a book was your writing catalyst. This was such a fun blogfest!

Faith E. Hough said...

The Giver is such a fascinating book. I first read it in college, after having discussed Plato's Republic in class and hearing all my classmates compare it to The Giver!
Thanks for sharing the beginning of your journey!

Tara Tyler said...

stories touch us in so many ways!
glad you found your niche, i need to take another class!
great beginning =)

Isis Rushdan said...

Love your determination! Don't ever give it up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A class with Brandon Sanderson? Who could pass that up? And I dig your new word - smashtastically!

J. A. Bennett said...

I, like you, have been writing for a long time. For me it wasn't until I put myself out there with a blog that I finally got serious about it. great post!

i'm erin. said...

I love that you mentioned this book at LTUE. It was the reason I was an English major. IT's one of my favorites, and the sad thing is I loaned it out a few years a back and never got it back. I need another copy!

Laura Josephsen said...

Oh, that's awesome! The Giver is such a thought-provoking book; I've read it so many times over the years.

DL Hammons said...

I love it when writers can point to one or two significant influences that have driven them to where they are today. I wonder if Lois Lowry ever gets to hear those stories?

Thank you for sharing your ORIGIN with us today! :)

Emily R. King said...

The Giver is a great book. I'm glad it inspired you to jump into the world of writing!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Love your blog layout--beautiful! Also, love the way you were finally able to put all those writing pieces together during that class. Nice to meet you via the blogfest.

nutschell said...

Hi Shallee!

I'm dropping by from the origins blogfest. I love how the Giver started you writing. I adore that book!

Your newest follower,
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Leigh Covington said...

Fantastic. I love books that leave me thinking - although I don't love ones that leave me depressed. Very few have left me depressed, but many give me lots to think about. Love your entry Shallee. Great stuff.

Margo Kelly said...

Aw! Great story! I wish I would have pursued writing sooner!!

J.L. Campbell said...

Sounds like you've been working on making your dream a reality ever since that first spark was lit.

Ashley Nixon said...

I think the one book that sticks with all of us into adulthood is The Giver! So wonderful!

Abby Minard said...

Oh I loved The Giver- that's about the age I read it too. That's wonderful it inspired you to write. And what a wonderful gift from your hubs :)

Laura Pauling said...

I love finding those books that inspire us to write better! Good luck!

Nancy Thompson said...

What a wonderful husband! Lucky girl!! You have a great Origins story. As your newest follower, I wish you all the luck on your journey to publication. I'm right there with you, sister!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Awww! I love your Origin! And I'm a little sad to admit that I've never read The Giver. I think I better get on that. Like now.

It was so much fun meeting you last week!

Creepy Query Girl said...

There's always that one book, or story, author, or event that lights the 'spark':) And I think it's funny how many of us kind of gravitate back to the first genre that made us want to create. Thanks so much for sharing your origins!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Yay fellow English majors! Love how many people had a love of the written word so early.

Melanie Fowler said...

Hooray for you! I love this book, I think we talked about that at the LTUE. I'm glad that you're writing because now are my new awesome friend!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Have not read The Giver, but I will try to get a copy of it. It was nice to read all about your writing journey, Shallee.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh my heck -- I LOVE THE GIVER. Everything about it, right now to the ambiguous ending. In fact, I found great comfort in it, because my books end in similar ways. And I want readers to contemplate them as much as I thought about THE GIVER.

Scarlett said...

That one book I wanted to emulate didn't really hit for me until much later in life. Though there were certainly many classics that stuck with me, and truly changed my perception of the world, and me in it.

I've never read 'The Giver'. It does sound familiar though. I'll google that one!

Cool to *meet* your here in the Fest!

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

That makes so much sense: your novel totally makes me think of The Giver.

 
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