Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding Me

As most of you know I moved over the summer. I won't bore you with the details. I've also been painting and repairing the old house (s-l-o-w going), and finding new places for the junk I've collected over the years. In doing that, I've also begun putting stuff in the "holding room" for a yard sale. It seems I have a lot of stuff.

Well, in looking through all my boxes, I found several that contained my old writing. (When I say old, I'm talking like 1975.) Yes, I was writing in 1975. Of course I was a teenager and dinosaurs roamed the earth, but still it's writing even if it is written on papyrus.

And it's bad. All of it is so very very bad. Flimsy plots, atrocious puncutation, illegible script (I wrote longhand for most of it) and just a lack of (I don't even know what word to use here) ...story.

But, there is one thing I learned, or rather RE-learned when I found all that stuff that was astounding to me

I have always wanted to be a writer. Always. And because of that, I have always written. Always.

And now I am a published author. (By my own hand, but still, I'm published.) Funny how your dreams sneak up on you when you're not looking. Although, this dream was 37 years in the making so I'm not sure it snuck up on me. But, it reaffirms my tenacity. And patience that dreams do come true.

Now if I could only get Tom Selleck to fall in love with me....

Tell me -- how long have you been writing?

27 comments:

Susan Fields said...

I wrote my first book in second grade, and my mom and I put plastic covers on it and little metal binding things and I used it for a special school project. So, basically, I've also been writing since dinosaurs roamed the earth. :)

Linda G. said...

Even longer than you have, if you count the Trixie Belden fan fiction I wrote when I was a mere tot. *grin*

There's just something about that compulsion to put words on paper that keeps going no matter what, huh?

Jennifer Shirk said...

I only started writing in 2005. I have a little crush on Tom Selleck too. That's been going on longer than my writing. LOL

Elaine Smith said...

I filled notebooks with stories from the age of four. I have a book full of original illustrations and text. The trouble is every word is spelled: pbpbpb pbp pbpbpb.
Not sure what it was about p and b maybe even then I wanted to be published. ;)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I wrote in high school. Even kept a journal up until I got married in 1979. Then it stopped. The bug to actually write a book hit me in 2009 and I have been writing ever since!

Kristi said...

It's always strange to find old things, especially writing, isn't it? Liking finding a piece of yourself you'd forgotten. :)

Like, Stacy, my writing began in high school, but didn't really return until my sister became ill (she's fine now!) It was my outlet, and as I used it to understand my feelings back then, my love of words took hold.

SA Larsenッ said...

So proud of you, Anne. Thank you for sharing your findings with us. I've been writing all my life, but never realized it was a talent and one I might be able to share with the world until a few years ago.

Bish Denham said...

I was 8 when I wrote my first piece. And, I have a four-door file cabinet full of my writing that goes back to my high school days. We're talking the late 60's. Although most of it is pretty bad, there are jewels hidden in muck, ideas that I still think about all these years later as having possibility.

Anne Gallagher said...

Susan -- That's so sweet your mom took an interest at such an early age. (Mine still thinks it's a hobby.) Which era were your dinosaurs? Mine were Jurassic, with the long necks and triceratops.

Linda -- You can't be older than I am. I still have my original Trixie Beldon books. Yeah, words on paper. What IS that all about?

Jennifer -- Tom Selleck in those little shorts on a beach in Hawaii. Yeah, those were the days. And for only writing for such a short time, you're doing very well. Congratulations!

Elaine -- I LOVE that analogy. pbpbpbpbpbpbpbp Yes, I think even at age 4 you wanted to be published. Either that or you loved peanut butter. lol

Stacy -- I used to keep a journal, found that box too, but won't share any of that tripe. Good for you for finding your muse in 2009.

Kristi -- "Like finding a piece of yourself you'd forgotten..." That is a perfect line to describe how I felt. Perfect!

Sheri -- Congrats again on landing your agent. Funny how one doesn't realize how talented we really are until we are old enough to appreciate it.

Anne Gallagher said...

Bish -- I looked through some of mine but didn't find any gems. I guess I'll have to dig a little deeper, or get to the box marked 1990's.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Wrote all my life... BUT only serious about fiction writing in the last 10-15 years!

Talli Roland said...

I think it's the desire to write that important at that age, and not so much the quality! At least that's what I tell myself when I see my old stuff. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I've wanted to be a novelist since I was ten years old -- so for quite awhile! I'm definitely living out a dream! What will be difficult (and already is) is when I look back on published stuff I can't change anymore, and see how far I've come.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Aww! How awesome was finding all that old writing? EVen if it is terrible.
I've been writing since middle school, but steadily since high school. Who knows where i'll be in another 10 years!

Johanna Garth said...

Okay, it must have been a little fun to go through all that old writing and see how much you've changed and improved.

I have old writing in the form of books and books of journals that I started in the 4th grade, but I can't bring myself to go look at them. Mostly because I think they'll probably be really boring.

J. B. Chicoine said...

It's always cool to come across our earliest works, even if they're awful (especially when they are awful). It helps us see just how far we've come!

I still have some of my earliest work--from when I was around 9 or 10 years old. Funny little short stories about some of my dolls. I guess I was influenced by Johnny Gruelle's Raggedy Anne Stories. :)

Caitlin said...

I love that you still have your old writing! It's amazing that you've followed through with your lifelong dream. I've been writing since I was 8, when my dad gave me an old typewriter.

Donna Hole said...

Do mother's day cards count in 3rd grade? LOL. My first real "novel" was written when I was 14. I still have it and it is BAAAD. But, I didn't seriously start writing until about 7 or 8 years ago.

Nice to see your dreams come true. Good luck with the rest of the cleaning.

.......dhole

Jade said...

I, too, still have my old childhood journals and it's funny to read them back and see how my writing has changed over time. Once I get past the cringe of embarrassment, I can enjoy them. This post has helped me realize that I've always written and to continue doing so, and to have patience with myself. Thanks! :)

Liza said...

I have a ripped orange folder in my closet that holds things I wrote in college...starting in 1976. Right next to it are diaries starting in 1973 on that hold poems I wrote back then. I too, have always been a writer. Oh, and sorry Anne, Tom Selleck is mine! Just ask my husband, who has bought me six seasons of Magnum PI on DVD!(One more to go, I think!)

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

Answer: for as long as I can remember, and can't remember not having a book in my hand. ;)

Serious writing started with conventionally published erotic novels and two mainstream romantic suspense novels. A serious riding accident b*ggered me for a while, and when I came back to it I couldn't be arsed with long waits between yay or nay! And the reast is history...

best
F

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I wrote my first story in about 1955. I can't remember much about it, other than the fact that the title was kinda punny and based on the words "witch" and "which". Yeah, even then, I had a corny sense of humor.

Nicki Elson said...

Egads, if ever I uncovered things I wrote in my teens I think I'd be way too scared to look. I wrote poems back then and had (flimsy, gushy) story lines constantly running through my head, and once when my kids were very young I started writing a (true mess of a) novel, but gave up. It wasn't until the summer after I turned 40 that I was finally like, if I'm gonna do this, I better get serious NOW.

How cool would it be if your teen self could see you now? Maybe she did, in some sort of way, and that's what made you keep at it. :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

How long? Pretty much all my life. I've always told stories, either orally--logged in lots of entertainment hours with the siblings with that--or written. Yah, when you look back and dust off the dinosaurs footprints, most of it was bad by today's standards. The poetry still stands the test of time. I did good on that but it's not something I'd want to share with the public. Lot of it is pretty personal and some really edgy. But it's good.

Sorry I missed this earlier. I'm a working employee out of my home office and Mondays are long days on the clock. Most of this week has been absolutely crazy with work hours. I'm hoping to get that part down better or at least more manageable.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Creepy Query Girl said...

:) My old writing is a lot like that. But on a floppy disk. I've been writing off and on since I was around 14 or so. One of the things I loved about it was living a different life and making myself see the world through the eyes of a different person. Not much of a plot, or a story, or stakes. The setting and characters were everything. With all that I've learned these last few years about the 'right' way to construct a story, sometimes I think I should put a little more of that basic langorous element back in my books, without the rush of always trying to move things along, in order to keep that primal love of the process alive.

Old Kitty said...

I do so remember those blissful pre-historic days too! LOL!!

Awwww what a great find! So happy you have now achieved your dream!

Take care
x

Patti said...

That's funny, because I was just looking at some old stuff too. Although I think I still have a lot to learn, I can see that I've come a long way.