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Who Inspired You To Become A Writer?


Johne
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David Farland says he inspires himself.https://mailchi.mp/xmission.com/heres-writing-your-series-part-612237?e=c5aab9d85b
 

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IT STARTED WITH A QUESTION

I was on a panel at a convention once where I was asked, “Who inspired you to become a writer?” I’ve been asked that question many times before, so I knew the answer, but before I could speak up, I had a realization: More than anyone else, I inspired myself.

Let me explain. Certainly there were a number of authors that I revered as a teen. Tolkien was foremost, but I’m not sure that his work played much of a role in my formation as a writer. He never once called me and asked, “How is that manuscript coming, Dave?”

In fact, I suspect that if I’d never read Tolkien, I’d still have found some other writer who inspired me just as well. Perhaps it would have been Richard Bach, or Frank Herbert, or any of a dozen other popular authors. In retrospect, I realize that it was an innate tendency.


WHEN I WAS YOUNG

As a child of about 8, I once spent a month drawing a picture that covered some 40 sheets of paper. It showed thousands of knights on horses in battle, in a bloody war. My mother was quite upset by my obsession with it, and went so far as to call in a psychologist to watch me. He was a soft-spoken man who gently asked what I was drawing. I explained that the sides were evenly matched, but if you looked into the center of the picture, you could see where the balance was shifting to the “good guys.” I asked him which knight was his favorite, and he picked one of my own favorites, so I thought that he was a great guy.

After the doctor went into the adjoining room, my mother asked the doctor, “Is he crazy?” The psychologist said kindly, “No, he’s not crazy at all. Congratulations: you have an artist!”

A few years later, I was cleaning a fish tank when I noticed that the colored gravel in the bottom could be used to create a picture. So I cleared off the table and began making mosaics with colored bits of gravel, then I glued them onto boards. I did this off and on for a year, at least, with something of a crazed enthusiasm.


AT THE AGE OF 16

I turned to sculpting with just as much gusto. At about that time, one of my teachers in high school warned me, “You’re a writer. You’re going to have to deal with that.” She was very serious about it, almost sad. I enjoyed writing, but I kept thinking that I would go ahead in pre-med and become a doctor.

Then at the age of 21, I suddenly burst out in poetry and began writing more aggressively. I couldn’t keep it contained. I suspect that I was born to do art of some kind.

Kevin J. Anderson has said, “My muse isn’t a beautiful spirit who whispers ethereally into my ear—she’s a nagging harpy that grabs me by the throat and screams ‘Do it now’!”

Shakespeare isn’t likely to text you today and ask you to get going. Neither is Yeats or Faulkner or Hemingway.

So tap into your love of creating. Be your own inspiration, and Happy Writing.

 

 

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Probably a combination of things. 1) I like to write. 2) I have stories to tell. 3) I read a lot as a child, even walking home from school. 4) Writing stories can be a form of teaching, and I am (even though retired) a teacher. 5) My current part-time job involves writing.

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The question was, according to the title of the thread, WHAT inspires you to write, but the article asks WHO. Since we've discussed WHO inspired/inspires us to write, I'll answer the WHAT. Besides the Lord and the Bible, practically any snippet of daily life will "flick my Bic"! (Ha! If you don't know what that is, you really are young! 😄)

 

Things like a portion of an overheard conversation; part of a TV commercial, TV show, or movie; lyrics in a song; something I learned; some great passage in a book or devotional; a picture or a meme/graphic; a comment on social media; something hubs says or does; the dog or the cat; my granddaughter; nature; or just anything. Whatever the Lord uses to strike that flint to start a spark! 😃

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  • Johne changed the title to Who Inspired You To Become A Writer?

What: I never really aspired to be a writer, I just liked writing. Which leads me to my Who.

Who: My dad. We lived out in the country with very meager entertainment options. At first, we just had a grainy black and white TV with the rabbit ears antenna, and then we upgraded to a grainy color TV, but our options were limited to whatever we could get over the air, three major networks and some local access stuff. I wasn't really an athlete until I was in High School, so that left just one thing–reading. My dad had a very large SF/F paperback library, and I read through all of it. At first, I was engrossed in the stories as a reader, but as time went by, my own imagination grew and I began to tell myself my own stories.

I think we take writing for granted. When you tell yourself your own stories in your imagination, it's different every time. But when you write something down, you can codify how the story unfolds–the word choice, the ebb and flow, the rhythm of the words. You can capture the purest form of your story to rediscover over and over. And once captured, you can share it with others.

 

So I became a novice writer before I ever really dwelled on the idea of being a writer. I still have fat folders of my handwritten ideas somewhere in a box in my basement. As I've grown as a writer, I've sent my manuscripts to my dad, who started all this with his passion for reading.

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13 hours ago, GRC said:

Not sure. Some misguided idea that someone might be interested in what I had to say. You'd think I'd know better!

Since so few are willing to listen, I write for those who might listen elsewhere. But I do believe there are always those who are interested, even if it's a very small niche.

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6 hours ago, Grey_Skies said:

Dunno, really.  There's a story I want to tell.  I feel like I'm meant to tell it.  The fact that I can't seem to tell it (yet), well, that's my own sorry fault.

Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, A-Rod, Serena Williams, and Tom Brady all started by missing the ball. A lot. A whole lot.

 

It's not fault. It's a stubborn determination to learn and keep trying. So, you're like they were. (And I know you don't remember most of them. 😊)

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1 hour ago, lynnmosher said:

LOL I didn't think you were that old, Johne! 😅


Oh, yeah, I've been around awhile. For reference, I graduated HS in '81. I clearly remember when Nixon was impeached and resigned, and watching the first man on the moon in b&w. 😉

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Ultimately, the Lord pushed me down this path. Which, for me, is better than the usual manner. (Dragging me.)

 

But I call myself a writer, like I call myself a crafter. I write/craft, therefore I am. 

 

The Who was both Mom and Aunt Mary.

Mom was an English teacher, (even when she wasn't teaching. Between Mom and Dad we were never allowed to turn in writing homework before they could find no red-pen marks.) But Mom encouraged me on word choice and topics. I can still recite the first sentence of a third grade paper, and it still works for the first sentence of a newspaper article.

 

Aunt Mary was single all her life and worked on a computer for a major insurance company, before home computers. (When she died, my younger brother inherited her Tandy 2086, which took a mere 45 minutes to boot, and then had a card game with nothing but word commands in DOS.) She also made hook rugs for fun. Until her, I thought the only things to do in life were school, homework, play with friends, and watch TV after dinner. Because she did that, I went on to dabble into many crafts I didn't know you could do at home.

 

But then the What happened. "Elective surgery" left me disabled. I could no longer lean over to do stained glass, wreathes, or weaving. (Only tried weaving once. Too much leaning over to keep learning.) I can't do nothing. Nothing drives me bonkers. (Not the reason I am bonkers, but bonkier maybe? 🤔) And I read books on how to deal with pain, which all said to divert my mind.

I wrote articles before disabled, so I wanted to do something for fun. "Write a book." How hard can that be? (15 years later, and third story, but first one finished.) It sure has diverted my mind. 😊

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8 minutes ago, Johne said:


Oh, yeah, I've been around awhile. For reference, I graduated HS in '81. I clearly remember when Nixon was impeached and resigned, and watching the first man on the moon in b&w. 😉

Was the moon landing in black and white or was it in color but everything was in shades of gray? There was color TV by then.

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36 minutes ago, Spaulding said:

Since so few are willing to listen, I write for those who might listen elsewhere. But I do believe there are always those who are interested, even if it's a very small niche.

Likewise... ditto. But, I guess, as it's a who and not a what question, I began to write when I met the Lord, strangely, on more serious note!

Edited by GRC
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43 minutes ago, Spaulding said:

Was the moon landing in black and white or was it in color but everything was in shades of gray? There was color TV by then.


This is how I remember it.

 

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On 10/2/2021 at 5:18 PM, Sarah Daffy said:

Or I just get an idea and let myself run away with it. 

My characters. They get a hold of my brain and run away with it. Such harassment I endure until I write it down!

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8 minutes ago, Nicola said:

My characters. They get a hold of my brain and run away with it. Such harassment I endure until I write it down!

I know! Someone oughta arrest them for it!

 

did you find your brain yet? 😜

 

 

Edited by Sarah Daffy
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