I could be super lame and give you the same basic “about me” that all writers try to give, but I won’t do that. You know what I hate? I hate writers who start their story like this: “I’ve been writing since I was six!”
Of course you have. That’s the age most of us learned to pick up a pencil and went from being illiterate toddlers to somewhat less-illiterate children. Suddenly, we have a second reason to scribble on the walls. As soon as I learned how to write, I carved my name into the side of my bunk bed so people would know it was mine–that doesn’t exactly qualify as “becoming a writer.”
(Though I did try to blame this on my sister six years later when we rediscovered the infantile graffiti. You can imagine how well Mom took to that.)
No, I’m not going to tell you about when I became a “writer.” For me, being a “writer” was a side effect of what I really was. I was a storyteller.
I don’t ever remember a time in my childhood where I wasn’t inventing stories. When I was scared at night, I’d calm myself down and put myself to sleep by making up my own stories in my head. When my friends and I played in the grass lot at our school, we weren’t kicking the ball around like our peers. We were dodging in and out of their game, inventing our own plot lines with the football players as background characters (usually evil, blood-sucking demons that, if they touched you, turned you into one of the undead). I even invented my own characters, characters with remarkably deep backstories and intensely tragic lives, to put into my own favorite books, TV shows, and movies.
And when I got older, when roleplaying in real-world was more embarrassing than it was fun, I found a new playground: the internet. Roleplaying sites online gave me another creative outlet. I created hundreds of characters and was involved in thousands of plot lines with other writers from around the world. Our stories were so detailed, they would extend beyond a single thread and actually affect the overarching world of the sites we were on.
(Now, to make this very clear right now, “roleplaying” as I know it is waaaaay different than the way most adults today will think of it. Get your mind out of the gutter. Pervert.)
Then I realized something: I had a handful of truly amazing characters and a bucketful of phenomenal ideas that I didn’t want to die on the internet in the tragic but inevitable passing of time. I wanted the world to actually have a chance to see these characters for who they were, and to live the plot lines I had such a great time developing. I decided it was time to put online roleplaying behind me and actually bring my work to life.
And that is when I really became a writer.
I was fifteen when I started writing my first book. I rewrote it twice and finished it at 18. My second came at 19, and my third at 20. When I was 22, I started rewriting the first again. I’ll probably rewrite it a fourth time in a year.
The “writing” part of writing isn’t what I love to do. What I love is storytelling, and writing is the most perfect, most amazing way to do that.
Keep up with this blog, and you’ll get to hear quite a few stories. I’ve mentioned this in a post or two, but this isn’t your standard “writing blog.” You’ll get exposure to quite a bit of… interesting information:
- Writing advice and tips
- Short stories
- Creative Nonfiction
- Excerpts from books I’m working on
- Personal stories and anecdotes
- Book reviews
- Quite a bit of material about my crazy household and family
- Maybe the occasional picture of awesome food. Maybe. (This is unlikely.)
I hope you’re ready for a wild ride!
Oh, and photo credit goes out to this awesome lady. Check out Courtney Spangler Photography. Do it.