How It All Began
In my first ‘proper’ blog post I wrote about what I want Becoming an Author to be about. But that doesn’t tell you much about me, or why I decided to start this project. So let’s go back to the beginning – everyone loves an origin story, right?
My name’s Ellie, I’ve just turned 30. I live in South East England with my partner and two cats. I live a pretty simple life – work, Netflix and reading are a pretty accurate summary. I love to travel, eat, and sleep. And of course I love writing.
I’ve always loved writing. And it’s brought me a fair way in life. I’m still convinced the only way I passed any exam was simply by writing sooo much that at least something in my answers had to be right.
Fast forward a few years and after a bit of trial and error in terms of career, I managed to land myself a full time writing position. And I’ve been in content and copywriting roles ever since. Turns out I’m not horrible at it – yet for years I believed the complete opposite. I had absolutely no faith in my writing. It was only when someone else told me that I was a ‘good’ writer that I actually believed it.
In terms of content and copywriting I’m fairly confident in my abilities these days. But, that’s not what Becoming an Author is about. This blog is about becoming a writer of a very different kind, for me I want to be an author of fiction books, and let’s just say my self-assurance isn’t quite as developed in this area.
I’m going to (very unfairly) blame this on an English teacher I had. I always received very high marks in English when it came to the factual, essay based stuff – which explains the exam success. But my grades on fiction and creative writing never quite reached those dizzy heights. In fact, some of the comments I received were pretty harsh, or at least I thought so. It hurt a lot at the time, especially as I was pretty pleased with the little stories I’d come up with.
I, very foolishly, let this crush my spirit for creative writing. It’s only now – 20 or so years later – that I’ve come to realise that one person’s opinion of my writing doesn’t validate or invalidate it’s value.
And I think that’s lesson number one for Becoming an Author: write for yourself.
It’s taken me a long, long time to reach this point. But I’m finally becoming comfortable with this concept. In fact, this whole blog project is testament to this – odds are that few, if any, people are going to stumble across my little part of the internet.
However, I’m writing it for me, so in truth it doesn’t matter who reads it. Or what they think. If you are reading this, then love it or hate it, it won’t stop me. And the same should apply to your own writing.
Write because you love to write. Write because you’ve got a story inside you that just needs to escape. No one ever knows where those stories will lead. It could lead to fame and fortune. Or it might not. But at least you got it out there. And for most of us, that’s the biggest hurdle we’ll face.
I haven’t even reached that point yet, so I may well be eating my words one day. But whether it takes me a month to write and publish a book (yeah, right!) or ten years (much more likely) then at least I did it.
But…enough about me! Tell me your origin story. Does my story sound familiar – did someone in your life accidentally (or purposefully) crush your dreams of Becoming an Author? When did you realise that this was your dream? What are your hopes and dreams?
I want to know it all. I want to know that I’m not alone on this crazy journey.