Angelyn's Crimes of Passion

Mysteries, thrillls and chills . . . one story at a time.

Writing Inspirations: Transformations

There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well. -– Agatha Christie

transformWriting – and reading, for that matter – has been a part of my self-expression, exploration and growth for as long as I can recall. If not making up quirky short stories about evil chickens, or poems about my latest crush, I made daily diary entries and as I grew older, journaled.

Despite my own efforts, I never considered myself a writer. I maintained a certain envy for people who did. I’ll even admit to a certain awe for people I’d met or known who committed themselves not only to writing a book but following their dream through to publication.

But somewhere along the way, the mantle of writer fell across my shoulders and I found myself introducing myself as a writer even before revealing my professional day job.

I can’t quite put my finger on exactly when that happened . . . when writing became more than just a diary entry or something I did when I was bored or to pass the time. It felt like an overnight transformation. I suspect it started when a short story idea took on a life of its own and became starting point for the novel that would eventually become KAOS.

The problem I encountered was that though I’d read hundreds of thousands of books, I had no idea about the extensive process that went into producing a publication-worthy novel. Me, never one to back down from a challenge, started reading craft books on the subject. I returned to my graduate school technical writing tomes (not helpful at all, by the way!). Eventually, I figured out that I needed to network with others who were identified writers and try to learn as much as I could about the craft of novel writing from them. That lead to seeking out writers conferences, taking online classes and eventually joining several writers groups, both local and national.

Each of these factors taught me how to become a better writer but it didn’t turn me into a writer.

I wrote when I didn’t feel like writing. I created a writing space in my home and developed writing times that I held sacred. I demanded (in a loving kind of way) that family and friends view my time away from them with a similar respect. I continued (and still do) to identify ways to improve my writing but despite my areas of weakness, I write through it, until a better way comes to me.

I am realistic about my writing goals. I’m not a butt-in-chair-every-day kind of writer; my life as a full-time professional, a full-time single parent, and full-time friend and lover does not easily accommodate that goal. Instead, I identify weekly goals: if I meet this week’s goal in 24 hours – GREAT! – then I press on to the next one. If not, I keep at it until the goal is met.

Realistically, to say that the transformation from amateur to professional takes place in an instant is a bit of an understatement. As you can see by my development, and no doubt yours as well, there is a rather extensive process involved which includes not only mental adjustments but physical and social as well, not unlike the process from caterpillar to butterfly. While it may seem that a cocoon is a resting place for the caterpillar, there’s a lot of activity going on inside, as the caterpillar transforms into something new. The old body is broken down – our old way of thinking and doing changes and grows; priorities shift and our new identities as writers, refine from the inside out.

It’s the mental and emotional adjustments made as we accommodate our new identities that lead to changes in our behavior, that leads to, as Ms. Christie said, taking on the burden of the professional by writing when you don’t want to, write when what you’re writing is crap and writing even when your internal editor thinks you suck.

We’re writers. That’s what we do.

What about you? What was your transformation like? Your process from amateur to professional? I’d love to hear your story.

Advertisements

4 comments on “Writing Inspirations: Transformations

  1. Kristi Bradley
    March 25, 2016

    I love this post!

    It practically mirrors the way I transformed into a writer. My soon-to-be-released paranormal romantic suspense Mysta was spawned from a short story entitled Mist. That was eight years ago. It grew from there, and I too, searched out other writers and tried on several writers groups until I found one where I fit and felt they could offer what I needed.

    I now write everyday. It could range from ten minutes to ten hours. Life still happens, tries to steal your time, but the serious writer will make the time, not excuses. It might be at four in the morning until time to get ready for the day job. It might be after the kids are in bed and last into the wee hours of morning until you know if you don’t get at least three hours of sleep, you won’t make it to work the next day. Or both.

    I can’t wait for KAOS! Keep writing Angelyn!

    • Angelyn
      March 25, 2016

      Thanks Kristi! It is a remarkable thing to look back and see how far we’ve come. I’m looking forward to the release of Mysta!

  2. Marquessa
    March 25, 2016

    Hi There! I’m visiting from the A to Z Challenge! Cheers!
    @simplymarquessa from
    Simply Marquessa

C'mon! I know you got something to say . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 25, 2016 by in Reflections, Writing Craft, Writing Inspirations and tagged , , , .

Blog Stats

  • 11,961 hits
%d bloggers like this: