Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest





Today I'm taking part in the Origins Blogfest, so I get to tell you where my writing dream began.

Well, it goes something like this:












Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird





Since today won't be a strict Others have said day, I get to cheat a little. See, the as much as I love reading, the above quote actually applies to me better if it referred to creating stories.


My love for stories is in my blood. By the time I was born, my gran had written and published and/or saw on t.v. a multitude of stories in my first language. So when I played with my cousin (with whom I grew up), we created stories. And characters. And plots. And descriptions.


When I was taught to read and write, my cousin and I started writing silly little books with single words per page that meant something to us. As we grew older, the play-acting continued, but we went our seperate ways when it came to writing. Still, there were few competitions (mainly poetry) that we didn't enter and win. I think I was nine when I tried to write my first movie script.


The one thing I did not lack was ambition.


The movie script (as happens with nine year olds) lost it's appeal to me, but in middle school, a wonderful thing happened to me.  I was required to write essays for two languages. At first, it was harsh going, but after my gran explained the basics, I started getting A's for my efforts. And I fell in love with the chance to record the dozen-a-day ideas I had milling around in my brain.

Still, as I continued to grow older, I got this keen sense of dissatisfaction. I started arguing with my teachers. Because my stories wouldn't fit into the word count stated. Other kids in my class tried to haggle the word counts down. I begged the teacher to give me more. I mean: who the hell can write an entire deep, complex story in 250 plus minus 10%? Were they kidding me?


That was when I started to think about just writing away from school. Fact was, school writing fixes were to small.

So sometime this month, ten years ago, I opened my first word document and started typing just for the hell of it. And I never looked back since. 

45 comments:

  1. Don't ever look back! As for Doorway, you can get it out by your deadline. Just work at it every day. Once you commit to doing a decent amount of work every day, you'll be amazed how quickly it goes!

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  2. This was fantastic! It takes me back to my younger days when I used to write stories on the wall!

    Memories...

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  3. Brilliant post. I also got fed up waiting for teachers to tell me to write something!

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  4. I was always an over writer in school too, though I didn't get inspired to write out of school until many years later.

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  5. An amazing story, Misha. Sounds like you were born to write...

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  6. A movie script at 9. That's pretty awesome. I'm loving this blogfest.

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  7. I love the idea of little Misha arguing for more words :-)

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  8. You have a great origins story, Misha! How wonderful to have such a good writer role model in your grandmother, too.

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  9. What is your first language? (If you don't mind me asking).

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  10. You started with a movie script as your first big project? Ambitious indeed!

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  11. It must have been wonderful to have a grandmother like that. Great story, thanks for sharing it :)

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  12. Wonderful story. I used to create fantasy worlds with my best friend when I was 8. This is where my love of fantasy comes from.

    I always over shot the word count in school and got penalized for it. I told myself that if ever I was a teacher, I'd give bonus points for over achievers in writing :)

    Happy Monday,
    Jen

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  13. Very ambitious both on the writing and on mastering two languages. I'm half done with editing your piece that you sent me. :)

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  14. I had stories in my head since I was a child. I started really writing after my kids were in school full time. I haven't looked back since!

    I love reading as much as I love writing - It's such a blessing!

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  15. This post hits home. My daughter just got an essay assignment for 200 words. She doesn't think that's nearly enough ;)

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  16. I was inspired to become a writer by THE CRUEL SEA. That was a long, long time ago. But I can't seem to give it up.

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  17. Loved hearing your story. BTW, do you think that learning two languages affects the way you write (i.e., enhances your ability to think through things and present them in new ways)?

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  18. Great to read where your talent and inspiration came from, or originated. Wow, you certainly had a lot of it :)

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  19. I actually liked writing short terse pieces in school, seeing how much I could say in as few words as possible. But that was because writing (the physical act) was hard for me(my handwriting was atrocious)and my spelling was so bad. (We didn't have typewriters and computers back then.) The thought of writing a whole novel was beyond me. It wasn't until I was MUCH older (an aged adult) that I decided I could do it and now have several under my belt. But getting them them published...now THAT'S the hard part...

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  20. Congrats on your 10 year writing anniversary! Loved reading about your beginnings and your gran, great story. :)

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  21. I can understand your frustration and why you turned to writing outside of school!

    One of the things that frustrates me most as a teacher is that I rarely get the chance to instill a love of writing just for the purpose of telling good stories. Instead, I have to prep my students for the state writing exam.

    My profession is not what it once was ... :(

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  22. Writing is part of breathing, yes, Harper Lee!

    To write in two languages? That must be marvelous!

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  23. I love that quote!

    Great writing origins story. :)

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  24. Yes, I love some Harper Lee (if only she would've written more books!). Glad you started writing! Nice to meet you via the blogfest!

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  25. Such a wonderful ORIGIN story! Here's to the next 10 years!! Thank you for sharing with us today! :)

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  26. I think a lot of writers started out "not fitting" into particular boxes in school - it's part of what drives us to create. Writing in 2 languages - I'm inpressed. I had 3 years of German and could barely write more than an extremely short, simple bit of dialogue.

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  27. thats like me liking the extra credit math challenges, give me more =)
    now i carve out time to write too!
    great beginning!

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  28. Wow! How amazing to write in two languages! Thanks for sharing!

    Monti
    Mary Montague Sikes

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  29. Now you're a writer who knows how to enjoy what she does. Hope you have a great week!

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  30. 10 years ago this month? Very cool, happy writerversary. Nice origin story.

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  31. You have a wonderful background in writing. I love the story of you, your cousin and grandmother. My sister, brother and I used to put on plays. I always wanted to be an actress.

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  32. Thank you for sharing that with us... so inspiring. xx

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  33. Great story Misha. I never understood why some teachers try to curtail creativity (until i was one, and had to slogh through so many papers). Still...glad you are doing this. Congrats on ten years and going.

    Bornstoryteller #132

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  34. Great story and inspirational too! :)

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  35. I think I once had an assignment to write a short story, only one or two pages. I told my teacher she was stifling my creativity and I couldn't write something that short. I think it was fourth grade. She didn't find it funny. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  36. Keep not looking back!! :) Good for you! I personally liked writing outside of school best, but I was lucky enough to have some great teachers who encouraged creativity in the classroom. Sometimes a strict word limit is an excellent challenge and a way to teach yourself "less is more" when it comes to using a certain # words. Great story, and so nice to meet you! :)

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  37. A movie script at 9...you have me jealous already....I was still writing about cats and dogs then. Your passion is reflected in your blog posts too. Wish I had kind of burning desire and discipline.

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  38. Hi Misha!
    Love your origins story. And I love how you started with a movie script at age 9. That's advanced stuff!

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  39. This was a great Origins story, very interesting. I know that your "Doorways" will be a success and I'm happy for you.

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  40. The family influence was important to inspiring a dream, but it was up to you to pursue it and you did. Good for you!


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

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  41. Hi Misha, thanks for following. I'm following you now too. Nice to meet you. (I've noticed you around the blogosphere. I think we hang out at some of the same blogs.)

    I liked the story of your origins, since persistence can be a good trait for a writer. I'm of the school that says never give up but believe in yourself. It seems a lot of us wrote early on in our lives.

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  42. I love the part where you realized you just had to break out of the limits school tried to force upon you :)

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  43. Just continue writing and enjoy it everyday of your life:)

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