Sitting here in my office, I feel like I’m a kid in school who’s been given an essay topic. The reason? I decided to write a few blog posts about topics I haven’t written much about before.
The first one is: What it means to me to be a writer.
To me, writing starts with reading. And I’ve been a reader all my life, as long as I can remember. I loved being pulled into another world, living another life with someone who was bigger, stronger, more exciting than I could ever be in real life. I’ve lived so many lives so far, and I plan to live so many more. Pirates, queens, rebels, assassins, adventurers, thieves, lovers, fighters, magicians… they all feature regularly in my reading.
Along the way, as I grew up, I dabbled in writing, but never felt like I could do it as my career. I always felt like I wasn’t quite ready, or I didn’t know enough about writing, or I needed to learn more about the world. (Hint: if you think any of those things about yourself right now, they’re a lie, and you should start writing straight away. I was just scared.)
But I have always written things down, ever since I was a kid, even when I was too scared to make the leap into publishing my words and getting them out there in the world. I have always been telling stories. Living other lives as well as my own. I have been learning about words, thinking about stories, talking about characters for as long as I can remember.
Writing and storytelling is everything to me.
I’m a writer. I create worlds, I mix and match characters and settings and scenes. I create worlds that I hope people like to read about, and I put characters in situations that will tear them apart and then put them back together.
I still love reading, because I can relax into someone else’s story and feel the way their stories envelop me. I can be that character for a while, fight those monsters, find the lost scroll, save the day for everyone.
But I love writing the most. I love finding out who the characters are, and why they’re risking so much on getting the one thing they really want. I love sending them on dangerous adventures and helping them find their way back.
Being a writer is about living a hundred lives inside the one I have, it’s about finding and meeting a hundred other characters, telling their stories in the very best way I know how. It’s learning more every day about how to make my writing better so I can tell the kind of compelling stories I want to tell.
Being a writer means I get to tell the stories I want to tell, for anyone who will listen to them. It’s about entertaining, enthralling, delighting the people who read what I write. It’s about creating a roller coaster of emotions for my readers to journey on and experience.
Being a writer is a life-long journey, and so far, I’m loving it.