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Author: The1Keppelian One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 4867  
Subject: I'm Not A Writer ... Date: 12/8/2004 1:33 PM
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Hello All

I could really use some thoughts and advice and I thought, hey I've learned a lot already from TMF on investing, why not try my personal stuff too *smile*

This is a looooong post just to warn you :)

Let me first start by saying that I'm not a writer ... I say that based on my personal definition of a writer, that doesn't mean I am grouping people - just grouping myself. When I was growing up I read all the time, I consumed books of any kind, sometimes reading multiple books at once, which for a 10 year old, was pretty amazing to my family who don't really read much. When I got into my teenage years I think I developed an interest in reading particular authors instead of just anything I could find which I feel dried out the interest for me because I started developing preferences. I eventually went back to reading all kinds of things instead of just one author or genre and I have kept to that over the years.

I guess once I got to high school and really realized that I wanted to seriously write, I starting thinking about if I could be a writer. A writer to me was someone who had stories to tell, like my grandmother or my uncle who both could spin these tales that were part fact and fiction that just always held your interest. People with imaginations, not wild ones, but just the ability to go beyond and to see a tale in an image like a broken pen or an empty road. I could never do those things. I was never much of a poet in any way, visually or written. In writing class I really struggled to think, think, think ... and nothing ever came out that was any good. So why did I want to be a writer? Maybe because I admired writers and books had been such a part of my childhood ... I wasn't sure.

Once I got to college I was like ok I'll learn how to develop my skills. And I have to admit that college really changed me in many ways. I think because I grew up in a small town, I never really had a lot of exposure to things, and when I went away to college I was really bombarded with a kind of culture shock - in a good way. I took a lot of writing courses and even had some poetry published in some magazines during this time. I picked up a second major in philosophy and that expanded my mind. During this time in college I started working on this novel which is the subject of my post ...

This story is one story, in that it's the one story that I see clearly in my mind. From beginning to end as if it was a film I saw once a long time ago that I can recount, including pieces of dialog to anyone who asks me. I had dreams even, and please don't take that as some kind of new-agey kind of earthy crunchyness, I don't mean it like that. I just mean that sometimes I had dreams about parts of my story or people that seemed like they were characters. I kept good notes during my years in college and I even tried to write out some pieces that I saw in my mind.

It was frustrating because I could hear the voices in my head, again don't take that the wrong way, and I could write down these great pieces of dialog or conversations between characters, but I couldn't seem to get anything else. I even showed some of these, what I called, "Moments" to my writing teacher at the time who helped me flush out the scenes and asked me if it was part of a screenplay or a complete novel. I told her I wasn't sure and what was really wonderful about her is that she allowed me to submit these as writing assignments instead of making me write original pieces like the rest of the class so that I could work on it with her and during peer sessions with other students.

On a trip home for the holidays one year my junior year, I mentioned to my mother that I was working on this novel and she perked up and asked about it. I told her a very basic idea of the book because I really didn't have much more than that and she said, "Sounds familiar." which completely smashed me against a rock. Was I writing a book I had already read somehow and just forgot? She went to the kitchen and sifted through this box underneath the tv stand (normally my mom kept recipies and magazine cut outs of cakes and pies and stuff for when she cooked) and she pulled out these little, for lack of a better word, pamphlet, and handed it to me.

It was this folded stack of paper, like a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper folded in half and stapled at the crease, with this little drawing on the front of this mountain and a long road. The title, typed at the top, was "The Runner", and the author was me. I flipped through it and it was a combination of my drawings, I couldn't have been much older than 10 when I did this, and type written text. It looked as if my father or mother had made simple xerox copies and stapled them together in the form of a little book. I didn't remember this thing at all as I held it in my hands and my mother proceeded to tell me how excited I had been to write this little story and drew these little pictures to go with it and that I had given copies to my family as gifts. When I looked through it I was amazed to see a lot of similar ideas and concepts to the novel I was writing now, in a more childish development of course, but enough that I began thinking that somehow I was always trying to write this book. I kept up with my writing through college but I can't say I ever got anything more than scraps or random scenes of dialog written.

Once I graduated I was very focused in the computer industry. The net was becoming very popular and I realized that if I wanted to make money and survive, that I needed to change my focus. I eventually ended up as a web designer with my own company, which I still have now 12 years later, and a focus in artistic media development.

In 2002, when I moved into my new apartment, I started having dreams again about my story and I started writing again. This time, though, I was seeing more and understanding more, and I actually got what I consider to be a finished chapter completed. Then I got busy again and stopped ... and here we are going into 2005 and my story, more than ever, is in my mind ...

I feel very strongly about this book. I feel like it's a story I need to get out and on paper somehow but I am not a writer. The story is rich. The outline of the story is complete and some 15 pages long. I even have a detailed timeline of events, character profiles, and other information that makes it very clear cut. I just can't seem to write it. I don't think I have the talent or the necessary skills to do so.

But it keeps coming up in my mind, every now and then I'll take a day and write a few pages that are actually quite good, and then nothing for months. I even tried to force myself to write everyday and that just cramped up my mind because I put so much pressure on myself that I couldn't write at all. I'm very frustrated because I see it. You know? Like I said earlier, its like a movie that plays, I can see the scenes clearly, even hear ambient music or whatever. I can recite whole conversations between characters complete with facial expressions, body language, and inner thoughts. I just can't ... write ... the actual body of the story. I don't know why aside from the fact that I'm just not a writer. I have come to believe that everyone has some kind of story to tell and maybe this is mine. I think I have an interesting tale to tell and I'd like to tell it somehow. I just don't know how to do it.

I don't think I was meant to be a writer. I have enjoyed a lot of success as a web designer, a personal coach, a small business woman and I can say that I haven't written anything other than press releases and tech manuals for the past 6 years. Hardly anything creative except every now and then a piece of this novel - oh I did write a very beautiful poem for my brother's wedding several years back.

So if I'm not a writer, and was never meant to be a writer, then why do I have this persistant story in my head in such detail?


Elaine



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