How I Got Started in Writing

About one month ago, I gave a speech to a writing group about, what else, WRITING! I’ve decided to post segments of the speech over the next few weeks. It’s rather lengthy – almost one hour to give the speech, so that is why I’ll be offering you bits and pieces of it instead of cramming all of it into one huge post. All of the speech is in response to questions I had received in advance and then prepared my answers for the group.

I began the speech by telling them (since they asked):

First, how I got started with writing: To summarize, back in high school I got A’s on essays with positive notes scribbled in the margins from the teachers. Even then, I felt I had some potential. I’ve always enjoyed reading, too, and toyed with writing over the years, but didn’t fully commit myself to writing a full-fledged novel until 2009. I had owned/operated a beauty salon in Marine for 16 years and sold it last June. During the last year of operating my shop, THAT was when I wrote and published my first book.  I sold the shop because I was burned out doing hair, sick and tired of the business end of it and wanted a change in my life. After selling, and taking a 5 month break, I decided I would try my best to make writing my career in some form or fashion. In March of this year, my second book was published. I’m currently working on a third book. I also write weekly speculative fiction articles for Examiner.com. I’ve given myself two years (for financial reasons) to attain a legitimate, modest but income-producing career in some area of the writing field, whether it’s books or not. And I’m still working on that goal…I have one year left.
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Now, something I want to add that wasn’t part of the speech…I remember in my pre-teen & early teen years reading a lot. That resulted in a huge bookcase packed full of books. I couldn’t have been more than 13 years old and came up with the idea to have my own library that I would loan books out to my family and friends. Long’s Little Library was created! I think I had a mere 3 people borrow books! But my entrepreneur days had begun! In addition, I wrote to pen pals all over the U.S. and maybe a few outside the States. I know at one point, I corresponded with at least 30 pen pals and spent many, many hours a week writing to them and reading their letters. Another fun activity I played around with as a kid for about a year was typing a newsletter that basically contained stories from teen magazines! I think I mailed my little newsletters to some of my pen pals. In my teen years, I wrote approximately 30 or more poems that are currently packed away in a box, all but forgotten until the memory of them flooded my head this morning. Besides these obvious flairs for or interests in writing, I recall creativity in a few other areas:  “playing teacher” & constructing my lessons, listening to rock music & singing along and trying to teach myself how to play a guitar and a drumset (UNsuccessful but I thought I was cool). I loved animals, too, and always had pets of all sorts (dogs, hamsters, gerbils, parakeets, guinea pigs…for some reason no cats, though!).

So, hopefully all those creative juices will do me some good in life!!

The next segment from my speech will be about…let me check…query letters.

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