Sunday, January 24, 2010


A lot of people get the question, "What inspired you to write...?" or "Why did you decide to be a writer?" The answer to those questions is different for everyone, I think, but it all comes down to one thing. We love to write.

For me, I first felt inspired to write in high school. I had the most amazing English teacher in high school. I took a class from her every year and felt like it was the greatest thing ever. In fact, when I first started college, I majored in English with the thought that I wanted to be an English teacher and inspire others to love reading and writing like she had inspired me. I wrote a lot of stuff during my teenage years. At least half of it was angsty poetry. (I still have all of it. I was pretty proud of myself.) In fact, I'm still proud of a lot of it. Here's a few short examples:


Hiding, long gone secrets,
oceans caress the
once knowing shores.
They send out waves
with gentle whisperings
of things
by the dark depths.


Small faces
that smile
through a covering
of cloth,
they are
the peacemakers
between the left and the right.


away the aches
in my weary soul,
the tears fall over
the mountains of
my face.

I have stories that I started and never finished. Most of them are only one or two pages, but they have a lot of potential in them. I think I might have been a better story teller then.

Somewhere along the way, I lost the desire to be writing. I gave up on the English major. I just didn't love it any more. And I went on a really long, personal journey that ended with a psychology degree, a husband, and two kids.

It was at the end of that journey that I found myself thinking, "What am I doing with my life? Where do I find fulfillment on a personal level?" and I couldn't think of a single thing.

One night, I couldn't sleep. I rolled over and said, "Help me fall asleep. I've tried everything I can think of." My husband said, "Tell yourself a story." So I did. It was more of a question when it started. What would happen if you cross Cinderella with the Ugly Duckling. And my first novel was born. I worked on it in the evenings for months. And when I had it finished, I looked back at the creative process and realized that I really enjoyed it. I felt that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that had been missing in my life.

The one idea spawned another idea and I wrote another book based on it. Everything just kind of flew together. I am still working on the craft, but I feel so fortunate to have found something that I love to do. (Although, revising is not my favorite. I really did want to have the perfect first draft. Sweetly naive, I know.)

I have to remind myself why I am doing all this in the first place. It seems so easy to forget the part where it's fun and rewarding. It's easy to get caught up in the "I'll never be as good as" or "It's a lot of work that I didn't expect" or "the people that matter to me don't like it."

When I am writing, it doesn't matter how many other things are going on. I always find the time for them. It's just a matter of feeling inspired again. When I'm feeling inspired about this one aspect of my life, everything else is inspiring too.

1 comment:

Elana Johnson said...

Hmm...interesting. I'm not sure I liked it when I first started. I do, now, obviously. :)