This post is my first ever guest blog as featured on the website of US author Darlene Quinn. Thank you so much to Darlene and her publicist Jeni for the opportunity. You can see the original post at http://www.darlenequinn.net.
I’m just going to write because I cannot help it – Charlotte Bronte.
People are very willing to accept that quote from Charlotte Bronte; after all, she comes from a literary dynasty that has provided the world with some great works. What about if I – PR Director by day – were to say it? Would people believe that I come home from my day job, get my son ready for bed and then sit back in front of a computer because I am literally compelled to do so? Writers would, the rest? Well they would probably say I was crazy. Some have.
Friends have asked me ‘how I can face it’ after a day at work to sit and churn out sometimes thousands of words at a time and for all the creativity I like to think I have and my ability to articulate myself well (the majority of the time), I always struggle to put into words why I love it so much. But, I am going to try.
Regular readers of my blog will remember me mentioning the moment I knew I wanted to become an author. The basics are: ten year old me, new electric typewriter and a story about a young orphaned boy who goes to live in a haunted house with an elderly aunt. It was, at best, average but it was six sides of A4 and when you are ten, that’s War and Peace. My teacher read it out at school in story time and I had never been so illuminated with pride. Then, that moment as I watched my classmates devour the story that had been born from my mind, I knew how powerful words were and I was hooked.
I had always written and always had an obsession with notebooks (it consumes me to this day!) even before then but that moment defined me. It shaped my decision to study English in school, then Journalism and International Relations at University. I just couldnt accept ending up doing a day job that didn’t give me the chance to write something, anything.
So I ended up here. Years of stories started but never finished. It was very frustrating having such a burning desire to commit words to paper but then not being able to do it. I waited years for an idea. I hoped eventually a character would form in my mind so forcibly and so clearly that they wrote themselves. For me that moment was in June 2009. Three years later I am working on the second in The Foresight Series, a Young Adult fiction trilogy which is part paranormal, part thriller.
These characters have taken me on the journey, not the other way around. They have led me to write parts of the story I wasn’t even aware I had considered and until just a few pages from the end of writing the first, Embers, I though it was a stand alone book. The surprises just kept coming. This was it, the magic was back and I realised that writing for me isn’t just a hobby or a pastime, though it fits those tags. It is a compulsive need to tell stories, to bend and twist words into engaging prose that enthrals, delights, terrifies or moves.
Another quote, which I love as much as the one after which this blog is named is: ‘Being a writer isn’t something you do. It’s something you are’ and I really believe that. I have been one my whole life and only thing that is different now is that I am ready to start sharing it all.
I am currently querying agents and I had heard a lot about the sting of rejection but to be honest I find the whole process really rather exciting. I got my first formal rejection earlier this year and I was ecstatic. Just knowing my beloved characters had graced the desk of an actual agent made me feel so elated. Ok, so it wasn’t for them, fine. It certainly didn’t dampen my drive because I believe in my story and my characters and my love affair with them is what will keep me pushing forward.
So….in short; I am a word obsessive who buys too many notebooks, has a penchant for fiction and really, genuinely cannot help but write. Writing is my love, my passion and since finding Twitter and the wealth of friendly, helpful, experienced authors, communities, forums and people on there I think the flame burns even brighter.
While I am not qualified to offer advice on the post published side of writing…I would say to anyone who thinks they might like writing to start. Try. Sometimes the blank page is cruel and it can wear you down but when that idea finally arrives, there are no words for how brilliant that feeling is.
Thank you so much for reading.