Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins to Ignite the Writing Spark

Writing begins with an idea. Playful. Creative. Adventurous. But calling ourselves writers travels beyond the labyrinth of story roads each writer possesses to find that special place inside. It's a place where humble, yet steadfast confidence rests, waiting to grow and spark new inspiration.

I'm proud to be a part of the Origins Blogfest - the brain child of DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude, which is co-sponsored by three of my awesome blogging buds, Alex Cavanaugh, Katie Mills aka Creepy Query Girl, and Matthew MacNish of The QQQE.

My writing origins, or should I say interest in storytelling, began early in my life. As a child, I loved to retell stories that were read to me, old family tales, nursery rhymes, or even the Bible stories told to me at Catholic school. I used to dream in pictures and then wake up, having to act the story out. My best peeps were my stuffed animals, hence one reason I LOVE writing picture books!

Later on, in middle grade and high school, reworking movies I watched was a favorite pastime of mine. I could never resist dissecting a film, scene, or even a character's persona, and try to find my own little movie within that story. I'd ask questions like Why did the writer do that? Would I want that character to act that way? How come that scene came before this one? The questions were basically endless, and I drove my friends crazy with them. I can't tell you how many times I heard Would you just shut-up and watch!

I'd love to tell you that I was an avid reader as a child/tween/teen. Yeah, I wasn't. But I did write. In journals. It was personal therapy for me, a tween/teen growing up in a small mill town filled with way too many French relatives.

For me, that humble yet confident place inside peeked its head above the waves of marriage and motherhood approximately four years ago. My children were still young and needed me, but not as hands-on as in the past. I decided to revive the art of journaling. Then I began to read, everything I could get my hands on. I was addicted.

A year later, I wrote a short story that took 2nd place in a local writing contest. OMGosh....someone liked what I'd written. I had never felt such a surprising jolt of confidence, before. I then wrote my first YA novel--thankfully that work will never see the light of day - met a local writer (Hi Marcy!) who totally inspired me, and then started Writers' Ally. From there, all she wrote!! (And I mean that in the best pun possible.)

My confidence as both a person and writer has taken a personality of its own and I'm proud of that. I'll continue to quietly work on my projects, seeing each to their ends of flourishing.

Just keep swimming....
Just keep swimming....
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....

For more origin stories, check out the other participants HERE!! There are at least 188!! Inspiration is all around us, today! And don't forget about Oasis for YA's That's YAmore Blogfest, which began Feb. 11th and runs until tomorrow. You can still join us!! I'll post my ooey-gooey story tomorrow!!

40 comments:

  1. Great origins story. Keep swimming.

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  2. That's wonderful! Gotta love the personal turns of confidence!

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  3. Persistence is one of the most important qualities a writer can have, in my opinion. Just keep swimming, indeed!

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  4. Great story, Sheri! It's cool to get to know you better.

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  5. Love the writing-swimming connection. Thanks for sharing how you started.

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  6. I feel the same way about my first novel! Ack!!!

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  7. It's so nice to see how so many people arrived at the same place via different roads. Yay writing!

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  8. Thanks for sharing! You touched me when you wrote you used to wake up and act out the stories. I did the same damn thing! WOW!

    TWINSIES!! HAHAH

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  9. I also retold the stories I heard as a kid. My father read to me most nights, or we sang songs. Thanks...coming in from the Origins fest

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  10. I like it that your writing journey started early. So did mine. Thanks for sharing!

    Monti
    Mary Montague Sikes

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  11. How inspirational your writing journey is. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Just keep swimming is a terrific philosophy to have. I find myself saying that a lot these days.

    I used to act out stories a lot too. Sometimes I still do.

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    1. Haha...ever do it while driving? People at a stoplight think I'm nuts, I tell you.

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  13. Wonderful origins story, SA! The writing bug hit me when I was a very little kid and learned to read on my own. I loved books and reading so much. Writing my own stories gave me more of what I wanted until I could get back to the library for more books to read!

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  14. All it takes is one person (or book, series, or another writer) to spark the inspiration and passion for writing. Keep swimming should be every writer's mantra. It's so true. All you can really do is just keep going. I know you'll make it!

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  15. Sounds like you took a very analytic approach from the start. What a dedicated student of the writing art you were.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  16. LOL. I STILL do that when I'm watching tv ... ;o)

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  17. Keep swimming, gorgeous :-)
    Fun blogfest. I'm going to have to make my rounds today :-)

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  18. Yep, I kept journals all thru growing up too. And I've always dissected stories. It's kind of annoying to other peeps, but I just love trying to get inside the writer's head and ask why, how, and what if?!!

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  19. omg, all the questions! LOL! But I loved reenacting things with my dolls, too. Although I guess I was more accepting of the stories as told. :D Isn't it funny how we all were just a buncha daydreamers basically? :D Great story, girl! And here's to winning a contest! That's awesome encouragement~ <3

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    1. I'd say daydreamer is a great way to describe us. :)

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  20. Pictures books are my favorites to keep on the shelf. These can't be digital as far as I'm concerned. I can see how these could be catalysts to your writing.

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  21. No journals when I was growing up. I kept spiral-bound books of strange facts like Sherlock Holmes kept -- just, you know, if I was ever called in to solve a locked-room murder of the principal, say. Hey, it could have happened! LOL. Yours was a great origin story, Roland

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  22. I always collected journals, wanted to write in them, but was too afraid of ruining how beautiful they were! LOL. Thanks for sharing, Sheri! :)

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  23. Hi Sherri!I love how you always analyzed the movies you were watching. I loved writing in journals too when I was younger. I'm definitely trying to get back to doing that. :)

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  24. Journals are great for self discovery, aren't they? I was a big reader as a kid, but then stalled out for many years - concentrating on my writing instead. Only in the past couple years have I rediscovered a passion for reading and I think it's helped my writing tremendously! I just keep on swimming too (gotta love Dory's wisdom!)

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  25. I already follow your blog (gonna sign up for your twitter), but nice to read your writing journey. I get you on the not writing in earnest until the kids are bigger...that's when I finally got serious about FINISHING those book ideas rolling around in my head. Nice to see you in the blogfest.

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  26. Love your story. I used to journal a lot too, and make up stories in my head in bed. Shocker I know!

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  27. I used to re-write movies I considered disappointing also. Your confidence is allowing you to develop your writing and stretch your comfort zone, which can only lead to more good!

    Thank you for sharing your ORIGIN today! :)

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  28. Yes, the Dory song gets in my head all the time, but it's so meaningful. Loved to hear how you became a writer!

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  29. I think I have more than a few stories that won't see the light of day. Just as well, I think :)

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  30. Do you tell those tales to your children now?
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

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  31. Wow, you were already asking those questions when you were a teen???? You were destined to be a writer, Sheri!

    I didn't realize the YAmore blogfest goes till tomorrow. I'm in another kissing one. :D

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  32. Love the keep swimming mantra. There are definitely days I feel like I'm drowning. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  33. "Would you just shut up and watch!" LOL

    I am also a person with questions. I think my mother's incessant talking back to the television must have rubbed off on me! I mean, who DIDN'T want J.R. to die? *G*

    So cool you got into the game through journaling! I started journals for each of my kids before they were born. Still do today. Didn't write about it in my Origins. It really filled a hole, though when they were just too young for me to give much time to writing.

    It's great *meeting* you here in the Fest, Sheri! I look forward to so much more!

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  34. Great, thank you for sharing your story its cool.:)

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