Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Making my lines my life, or: Laying the lure

A few days ago, after realizing that where my life was headed wasn't where I wanted to end up at all, and after reading a very interesting article by Bev Vincent on Storytellers Unplugged titled ‘Aspiring Writers’ (about how “they’re the people who talk a lot about writing, about how they want to write, even about the stories they plan to write, but never get around to the actual process of putting words down on the page.”), I decided to go for it, to pursue that dream which I’d never allowed – even imagined – to become reality, to peel that appendage called 'aspiring' from my name. For the first time in my life, I’m voicing the thought. I want to be a writer. Hopefully, someday, a published writer.

I’ve loved to make up stories all my life, even before I could type. I remember sitting beside my mom, dictating a hand-scribbled page of a pony-club story to her while she typed it up on the computer. I’d have to ask her how old I was exactly, but it was around that time when I still believed Mary Poppins might someday float out of the sky with her umbrella to be my nanny.

I have more story beginnings saved on my computer than books in my bookcase (when I moved last, these filled five packing cases to the brim, and that’s not counting all my children’s books up in the attic or my 50-book collection of the STAR WARS series). Two years ago, I joined a wonderful writer’s group that made me realize I wasn’t the only nut with the insatiable urge to write, to create my own reality. With the help of this writer’s group, I managed to finish several short stories and even found the motivation to grit my teeth and do what so far I hadn’t accomplished - write ‘The End’ on the last page of a story with more than 50k words.
Yet I never even seriously contemplated the idea of becoming a professional writer.

Now, I’m taking the plunge. Diving in headfirst. Going for broke. I want this, and if it doesn’t happen it won’t be for my lack of trying.

Step One: Finishing a novel. Check.
Step Two: Finding an agent. Unchecked.

Obviously, I’m still at the very beginning. And I have no illusions, at least not where getting an agent or publisher, and making the big bucks are concerned. I’ll still finish my master studies in economics and hopefully find a good job soon after receiving my degree. Simply growing from youthful aspiring-writer-ism to adult writer’s status doesn’t automatically mean you heap up piles of gold and accolades. In most cases it’s a long and rocky road to being published, at the beginning of which a sign should advise that ‘this way be dragons’. Dragons who sit on that pot of publishing-gold, and whom to slay would be the wrong approach, because they’re the only ones able to unlock its magic.

So, this is me, finally grabbing my life by the balls, and my lines by their bytes, and heading down that dusty path. I’ve passed the warning sign and am waiting to lure my first dragons into my spellbinding words and intriguing worlds. Here puffy, puffy, puffy…

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