Take it away Angela!
For me, inspiration came in steps.
First, through a gifted and talented class in elementary school. We wrote tall tales, poems and called our gathering of kiddie-genius a hodge-podge. Our teacher even took our stories to a printer, had them collated (didn't really understand that word at the time), bound by black plastic rings and given a pink front and back cover. I was young and naive. Didn't realize I was actually "writing".
Reading Blume gave way to Tolkien and Lewis. They took me to foreign places I'd never heard of, places I could only go in my imagination. Reading them sort of made writing seem out of my league. Who would take a nerdy teen from the projects seriously? So I focused on getting a REAL job.
In 2004, my heart-deep inspiration to take my writing seriously weighed in a smidge over seven pounds. My Chipmunk. When I beheld her beautiful eyes and total innocence, I wanted her to know that she could become anything. That she could make her dreams come true. But I hadn't given myself a chance to make MY dream come true. What better way than to show her and not just tell her? So, to the laptop I went and penned the first manuscript I eventually disposed of. May it rest in digital peace. Then I had another idea, penned it and felt a little better about my story this go-round, even went to my first writer's conference where I met Evelyn Palfrey, an author of 'marvelously mature' romance novels. She'd self-published and eventually gotten picked up by Simon and Schuster. Her journey? Another powerful inspiration.
Armed with a success story and my very own manuscript, I embarked on a few false starts and stops, family changes, attitude changes, changes in residence and moments of giving up on this writing dream. But my Chipmunk was there, my ever-present inspiration to continue the pursuit of my dream. With her hugs and smiles, I've remained inspired to this day.
My journey is still ongoing. That manuscript I felt pretty good about got a self-published nod from me but life was - complicated - and I've since had to move on to other story ideas. I've yet to snag that NY agent or pull down that dream multi-book deal. Not sure those are going to happen (if/when they do, WOO HOO!). But unlike when I was a teen, becoming an author doesn't seem out of my league anymore. And my inspiration laughs a little louder, smiles a little brighter and keeps me enthused to show her the importance of persevering and making dreams come true.
Thanks so much Angela. I love seeing how people started writing.
What about you? What inspired you to start writing?