Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest: How Did I Become A Writer

A big thank you to DL Hammons, Katie Mills, Matthew McNish and the always awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this Origins blogfest. Otherwise I doubt I would have a post up today. The objective is to share the origins of how we became a writer.

Like many other writers out there, I was born to write. Creating stories at an early age came quite naturally. Even though they were all rather tragic, lots of death, a struggle to find true love, the arduous pursuit of happiness--you get the idea.

It wasn't until the sixth or seventh grade that my drive and motivation to turn my stories into a product where I could receive recognition first emerged. My school held a short story contest. All finalists would have their books displayed in a case at the entrance to the auditorium and the winner would receive a special prize.

Excitement hummed in my veins. My mind churned constantly with ideas for the perfect story. I poured my heart and soul into creating it. My teacher adored it and submitted it as a finalist, but alas I didn't win. I asked my teacher, who was a final judge, what did my story lack? Did the winner have a better plot, stronger characters?

Her answer: Absolutely nothing, in fact my story was better, but some of the judges would have preferred a happy ending. Also, all the judges were hooked by the winner's cover.

The cover?? Sure enough, in the display case the winning story did indeed have the best cover. The student had artistic skills I lacked, but packaging couldn't count for so much. Could it?

Next year I was more determined than ever. I wrote an even better story, with a sappy happy ending (yes, I was a sellout at an early age), a high concept plot (even though I didn't understand the term at the time), with a futuristic setting that would blow the judges away, but I didn't stop there. I had my aunt's boyfriend, a real artist, draw the cover for me. I described in detail exactly what I wanted it to look like, down to the color scheme. Guess who claimed first prize that year?

So I guess writing is in my blood, right along with the undeniable desire to be a successful published author.

Happy Valentine's to everyone! Remember the holiday is for those who are unattached as well. Celebrate the ones you love!

36 comments:

  1. Your first example of taking note of constructive criticism, and learning to write for the market :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Taking in feedback and learning from it is critical to success. We just have to remember we can't please everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome inspiration. Never give up! Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like you learned at an early age how to produce exactly what your public wanted. That should bode well for you in today's publishing world. Good luck, and nice to meet you. Please count me in as your newest follower. (Fun blogfest!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Chandra ~ Thanks. The only way to fail is not to try.

    Susan ~ Great meeting you as well. Heading over to your blog :).

    ReplyDelete
  6. You learned quickly about what "sells". :) I LOVE this story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great story and what a good example of how books are ALWAYS judged by their covers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I believe we are born to tell stories! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Glad you came back with a vengeance and took that prize! Not fair that they were predisposed to a happy ending though.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aww, sorry you lost that one... but maybe it helped build your strength! We have to look at them that way. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love your story of determination! I'm glad you won.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's amazing how many people began writing down their stories at such an early age. Really does make me believe you're born to it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love your determination at such a young age, what a great story. I'm glad you came back and won. I'm sure I would have loved your first story as I usually prefer sad or dark endings as opposed to happy ones!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Not only were you a natural writer, but a marketing genius as well! What determination. Great story!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, you knew exactly what it took even so young. I look back at my past self and probably would have fingered, I mean turned up my nose, at someone telling me I needed a better cover.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love that you took it all in, and came back stronger the 2nd year. Congrats (belatedly). Loved the story.

    Also - I've always preferred the darker endings myself.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A cover really is so important. It's the first thing you notice. If you don't like the cover, you won't read the back, and then you won't read the first chapter, and the book will never get sold.

    It's a shame though that a school would be so superficial. It's not like they're forking out cash for the book. (They have art contests for art. Writing contests should be for writing!)

    Glad you were able to make a strong comeback.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Covers are so important. I'm so glad you continued and worked even harder. That's all we can do as writers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Way to come back even stronger the next year and not give up.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love it that you were driven to kick some major ass the next year. :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. That's some determination right there. You learned and implemented at a young age. Very savvy!

    ReplyDelete
  22. wow, you were one determined young lady! But it was worth it if it sparked your writing career! Loved learning about your origins!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That is so cool that you have the cover framed! I bet it's beautiful. Now...I'm of course going to go check it out. :) Yes, writing's in my blood too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. That is such an awesome story! What a determination at a young age. Very cool origin story, Isis, thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That tells alot how you weren't crushed by your first defeat but came back roaring the next year. Good for you!! Great ORIGIN story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ha! I love your story of becoming a writer. And I love that you went the extra mile to get a great cover! Hehehe. That's initiative!

    ReplyDelete
  27. way to go back and do it again!
    and thats why we hire cover artists!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, if sell out gets you published, then I say go for it until you write your true passions ;)

    ........dhole

    ReplyDelete
  29. Covers do help, as you discovered, but so does persistence... which you obviously have! Great story.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love your origins story. We're lucky we discovered writing at a young age ;)
    Great to meet you through the Origins blogfest.


    your newest follower,
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love that you found your writing love so young! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Doesn't the saying go "You shouldn't judge a book by its cover"? Yet, many do. Sad thing is that teachers in thei school fell for it. I have to confess I did buy a book solely on the cover and sure enogh, the book was a dissappointmen. It's what is between those front and back cover that counts.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sounds like you discovered not only your desire to be a writer at a young age, but also your competitive streak :)

    ReplyDelete