Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Confessions of a Late Bloomer

I've heard it more than once. Possibly more than a hundred times. Likely from some of you reading this post. Countless writers have said some version of the following:

I was born to write. Came out of the womb with a pencil in my hand.

I wrote my first book (with staple binding and full-color illustrations) when I was five.

I knew I wanted to be an author when I was eight. It's my life's dream.

If you've said one of those things, totally cool. Nothing wrong with that. (Unless you mention any of the above in your query letter. DON'T do it!) Some people have that direction and solid idea of where they want to go in life early.

I'm not one of those people.

To be fair, I've always been a bookworm. But as a kid/teen, I never got enthralled by gorgeous prose or amazing imagery. I just wanted a story that could hold my interest, keep me guessing, suck me in to the very end and beyond.

To be even more fair, I've always known I'm pretty good with words. I could write a school essay on just about any topic without breaking a sweat. (Very handy in grad school.) When my sister needed to argue with someone on a message board, she got me to help her phrase everything just right.

That didn't make me a writer. Writers were creative and imaginative and all those good things.

We had to take two English classes in college. Freshman English (which I managed to delay well beyond freshman year) and some type of Advanced English chosen from a list. I chose Technical Writing. Never considered taking any type of creative writing class.

I wasn't the type.

So what am I now?

Over the past three years, I've slowly grown used to the idea that there is some creativity in me. That while my writing style will never be "conventionally beautiful," there is artistic merit in it. That the strong analytical side I've been so comfortable with all my life can be a complement to creativity.

I think I'm old enough now to understand that while there are many types, there isn't one correct type. My "writerliness" is just as real as that of someone who's been spinning stories since toddlerhood.

Some people take the interstate to their goals. Others take mountainous backroads, and an unplanned detour leads to an unexpected destination. One isn't better (or worse) than the other.

Just different.


Tyson said...

To be honest, I kind of always thought I'd be Queen Of The Universe.

Cat Woods said...

Hell, yes, you're a writer. And a gifted one at that. You'll go far, my dear, for all the back roads and detours you've taken.

Just remember the little peeps when it happens!

Hugs your way~

R.C. Lewis said...

Tee, I have no doubt you'll claim that crown before long. ;)

Aw, Cat. From one as talented as yourself, I'm honored. Still have plenty to learn. *hugs back*

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Your ending sums things up beautifully.
Some of the best things in life are things you find along the way.

April Wall said...

R.C. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! I wrote something similar a few months back just as I got my blog up because until I wrote THE FAMILY VYGIL, I'd never considered myself "the creative type". I'm uber analytical and love math b/c there's a definite answer. All this subjectivism in writing makes me want to pull my hair out at times. Congrats again to you and thanks for a post that makes me feel like I'm not the only person writing to have this thought.