Writing looks easy. We all learn to write essays about what I did this summer at an early age. And writing is easy–until it’s hard. The hard work comes when you desire to create a compelling story. This is the story of one way to learn to create a compelling story.
Many people instruct wanna-be-writers to read-read-read and write-write-write. That’s good advice, but it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. One must also study-study-study the craft.
Every writer starts at a different place in their skill levels. So it’s counterproductive to dictate that all writers must start here or there. All the steps are necessary. Only you can decide how deeply you must dive into the learning and in what order you need to learn these skills.
This is the story of how I went about learning to write and publish my book. I share my story in the hopes that someone might find some guidance and inspiration in my story.
As with most writers, I loved to read from the get-go. I don’t know when I started reading. Books and stories were as necessary to me as the air that we breathe.
I wrote stories in a journal. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t journal. Most of those early works are lost. A consequence of moving seventeen times before my freshman year in high school.
I loved literature classes because we studied stories and I ate them up. I didn’t find a single story I didn’t want to devour. Moves meant different schools. They were studying The Great Gatsby in three different schools in successive years. I became an expert at writing essays on that book!
I took drama classes in high school. How could I not? Being an actor was living and breathing stories. It was an exciting and instructive time.
Sadly, I left drama classes and literature classes behind when I graduated high school. Becoming an author was not on my radar at the time. I faced career choices. My career of choice (nursing) consumed most of my time both as a student and later as a worker bee. But I continued to journal and read when I could.
Later, much later, the writing bug bit me again. I asked authors I met (at conferences) how to go about learning and they told me to read. But writing is easy–until it’s hard. I was a reader and I still had no clue how to write a story. So I decided to do it my own way. That began a search for classes and books and mentors. I needed to learn how to organize my thoughts into a story I could write and others would love to read. At 27 years-of-age I had no clue that this would be the journey of a lifetime.
I hope you enjoyed this opening chapter of writing is easy–until it’s hard or how I learned to write fiction. Next week I’ll go into how I began to learn to write stories, what resources I used, and what I learned along the way. Please ask questions, or if you’re a writer, add your story in the comments below. I love hearing from you!