Origin of the Writer is a series of essays giving emerging writers the opportunity to share their writing journey so far.
“I’ll give you a title,” my classmate said as she pushed a fresh sheet of lined paper at me. “Then you write a story using that title.”
Her brown eyes shone with excitement, proud of her own cleverness, while a heavy rain battered loudly on the classroom windows behind her. We were having recess indoors.
“Okay,” I told her with a shrug, grabbing a pen.
At eleven years old, I’d never held any interest in writing. We wrote plenty in school, of course, but I’d always struggled academically, and writing was no exception to that. I was willing to try, though.
“I fell off the Eiffel Tower,” my classmate said.
Okay, I thought. Interesting title.
I started scribbling at the page. My classmate’s enthusiasm was infectious, and my curiosity was piqued, since I’d never considered the possibility to writing for fun before. But the bell abruptly rang within minutes of us starting our game, signalling the end of recess, and I had to put my story away.
It stayed on my mind, though. For the rest of the day. All the way home. Until I could sit at our computer desk and just… start typing.
Over the course of the next few months, I ended up with a story over a hundred pages long. None of it any good, I’m sure, but it didn’t matter. I had discovered something about myself. It sounds funny to say, but I guess I fell in love with writing before I ever fell in love with reading, which I’m sure is a bit backwards. But I can even remember being kindergarten age and scrawling aimless swirls onto lined pages, imagining that I was writing stories in cursive. So, maybe writing was always my thing and I just didn’t know it?
Although it wasn’t a smooth start. My first attempt at a “book” ended up getting lost in a computer crash, never to be seen again.
But I didn’t get discouraged. I rolled up my sleeves and started over.
Would you believe me if I said I got to over a hundred pages AGAIN, only to lose it all in a computer crash AGAIN?
I definitely learned my lesson the hard way, and now I back up my work religiously. (But, of course, I’ve never had a computer crash on me since. Because life is funny that way.)
Today, I have twelve completed books, not to mention multitudes of uncompleted ones, and, honestly, I don’t know what to do with them all. The stories just keep coming and I’m drowning in ideas, while my husband, who is also a writer, encourages me to self-publish, but I’ve never had the courage to really put myself out there.
So, here I am, world. Trying to emerge, as the lovely Theresa put it. Just a young woman cursed with a writer’s voice in her head, hoping to find a small space in the infinite realm of the internet that she might fit in. I’ve taken the risk. I’ve self-published my novella, Violent Violet, a contest-winning romantic drama about a woman trying to survive her abusive marriage, while resisting the possibility of another life—another man.
“Where is he taking me?” reads the opening line. “Is there a place where husbands can take their wives after she’s tried to kill him?”
It is a bit dark, I suppose. A bit mysterious, even. It might be different from the kind of stories you’re used to, but I’ve sent it off into the world, because I have dreams of figuring out this whole “self-publishing” thing—dreams of exploring the romance genre in new ways—and dreams of writing novellas specifically for the hustling millennials of the modern world, so you can carry love stories in your back pocket and find them right at your fingertips.
Because, wouldn’t that be nice?
Anyway, I will close with a big thanks to Theresa for this wonderful opportunity, and a hope that the world will be as happy to meet Violent Violet as she is to meet you. As for myself, I’ll be locked away in a dark room somewhere working on her sequel, Violet Brigitte, or any other number of stories since I can never seem to work on just one at a time.