I think it’s safe to say that most writers remember the first time they touched lead or ink to paper with intent to tell a story, not for homework, but for personal reasons. Be it a journal or a story to pass the time during Saturday detention, the exciting realization of giving your thoughts and feelings a more tangible playground can be an addicting new experience.
For me, it started when I saw the movie “Stand By Me.” I began to think of the adventures my friends and I could go on. It would lead me to write a story of the 5 of us being spies sent to our high school to take down murderous power hungry teachers.
It was as terrible as it sounds.
From there it was sophomoric philosophy, poetry, lyrics… all of which have never seen the light of day. Writing became a way to express myself, as is most often the case, but it came with a catch. Once the idea began to manifest, I found the birth of my creation so satisfying that I would set it aside, and sadly, forget all about it.
After my divorce, I decided to attempt my first novel. With uncharted thoughts and emotions, writing is how I made sense of them. My main character was a struggling writer who, after a divorce, attempted to find his voice through his writing. 5 chapters in and I had a fleshed out, insecure, bad decision making main character, and I began to understand my life a bit more. I clicked “save” and closed the file, never to open it back up.
There is a common piece of advice out there. “Write what you know.” I think that’s great for many writers. It’s how you imbue a story with truth, but for me it turned into a therapy session that, though extremely beneficial, killed my drive. It was only once I had a thought about a story idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, that I began to put forth the immense effort to make it a reality. Like a baby, my story woke me up in the middle of the night to take notes on fleeting ideas that risked becoming lost in the ether of sleep. It required care and unrelenting attention until I now find myself here.
The comic book I’m writing is now two volumes deep into the 1st rough draft, and two issues into the 2nd script draft. Every step I take to putting my words out there for others to read, the stronger my desire to finish the story becomes. It would seem to me that my relationship with writing is not unlike my relationship with love. When I was young, I was terrible at it. As I got older, I was better, but wasn’t taking it seriously. As an adult currently in love with a woman who reinvented my idea of love, I realize that writing is just as complicated to figure out. However, as long as you are honest, work hard, and continue to grow, a completed story can be a beautiful thing to it’s author.
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