{HOW DID YOU MEET WRITING?} the importance of your writing love story

Do you remember how you met writing?

 

I can recall the moment when I was six years old and walked up to my mom, saying, “I want to write a book.” I wish I could remember why I said that; instead, I remember having my mom help me write a story on construction paper and title it “The Hotel That Burned Down.”

 

After that, writing stories was always something I did. I didn’t think about it: I just did it. I wrote about rabbits and horses and dancers and a terribly cliché group of kids with elemental powers. I didn’t show my writing to anyone if I could help it; I just did it because I loved it.

 

While this “writing childhood” held little significance in my mind once I began to write seriously, I’ve recently realized how important it is to remember why we became writers. What called us to begin telling stories? As I’m going to talk about here, realizing what did can immensely help us as writers today.

Everyone “meets writing” a different way. I know many writers who said they used to hate writing, and then something happened that turned them into a writer. Or perhaps, like myself, they’ve always been drawn to storytelling. Or sometimes, it’s just impossible to nail down the exact moment when you realized writing is a blast and something you want to do.

 

Yet I think there’s a moment that every writer has experienced when they suddenly get a sense of freedom in forming letters on a page and stories in their head. It’s when writing begins to feel like flying; though you don’t know how to fly yet, trying to so darn fun that you don’t want to stop. This is what marks the beginning of what I consider the “writing childhood”—when you’re writing for fun and don’t know that you really don’t know anything about writing. It’s pure bliss.

 

Unfortunately, the writing childhood, like real childhood, only lasts so long. You eventually decide to get serious about writing, realize you don’t know anything, and probably become a perfectionist set out a treacherous quest to learn more. The days of wonderful ignorance are over.

 

That doesn’t mean writing isn’t fun anymore. It is. But following the childhood of writing are the days when we absolutely hate writing. We can’t write. We can’t edit. Our work sucks. Why did we even decide to be a writer in the first place because it’s obviously too much work and takes too long to master????

 

This past fall, I fell into a writing slump like that. Writing seemed impossible, or else tediously hard. I found no joy in streaking words on a blank sheet of paper. Though the real reason for this was creative burnout, I found myself looking back at all the writing I’d done in the past years and wondering why I even started doing it in the first place. Just because I wanted to write a book? How lame of a motivation that was.

 

I quickly found that that wasn’t the case. If I recalled my favorite memories of my writing childhood, I saw that I wrote because I liked to go places—places that don’t exist in our reality. I liked to explore them and learn things with the characters. I loved the journey. It gave me freedom and joy. Why wasn’t I writing because of that now? When had I stopped writing because I loved to go on journeys?

 

That’s why the day you met writing is so important—it helps you remember what you love about writing when you don’t love writing. What’s the reason you began at all? While saying you want to write a book and all is great, I believe writing should make a writer’s soul sing (credit to Kate for that metaphor!). If it’s not, the easiest way to figure out why is to look at how you fell in love with writing.

 

The day you decided to be a writer is the day you decided you wanted to finish a book. It could be called the day you got serious about writing.

 

For some people, this might be the same as the day they met writing. For others, there could be a ten year gap between the two.

 

This day is nearly as important as the day you met writing. Here is the time when you might have gotten down on your knees and said, “God, I want to be a writer. I want to use my words for Your glory. Please show me how.”

 

I was fourteen when I ‘decided to be a writer.’ I’d just been blown away by the spiritual power of Jaye L. Knight’s Resistance and became determined to write something like that myself.

 

This is when you find why you write. Why do you want to publish a book? This Big Why, as Brett Harris calls it, is probably something bigger than you simply wanting to write a book; it’s about wanting to help people and change the world.

 

Remembering your Why is so important. When you’re completely discouraged, remembering why you wanted to write seriously in the first place will keep you going. And when you cannot for the life of you find a way to be joyful with your writing, your Why will help you carry on until you can be joyful again.

 

As writers, we know the importance of motivation and backstory for characters. That is why our motivation and backstory are so, so important as well. Looking at where we’ve come from can help us to better live where we are and figure out where we want to go. Though our stories as writers are far from over, finding what drew you to writing and why you decided to write can be huge motivation boosters for whatever writing struggles you go through.

 

<3

audrey caylin

 

I hope you enjoyed this Valentine-themed post 😉 How did you meet writing? When/why did you decide to be a writer?

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    True Shaw
    February 10, 2018 at 6:30 am

    What a beautiful post, Audrey! I think you’re right – it is important to remember where we came from and why we started writing. And I love how you say that you become a writer when you decide to finish a book. I was trying to remember when I “met” writing after I read this, and I remembered creating a small book out of printer paper, crayons, and staples with help from my dad. I hadn’t thought of that in so long. That was my first book, and I think for me, it was the love of creating something of my own that drove me to write. And I think that kind of holds true now, too.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post!

    ~True // atruewriter.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you, True!
      That sounds like quite an art project! It’s amazing to think back on what drew us to writing in the first place. 😀

      Thanks! <3

  • Reply
    rileyalinewrites
    February 10, 2018 at 7:14 am

    THIS POST IS EPICNESS. 😀 I’d never thought about this! I met writing someday back in 2015 when the characters in my head started begging for breath. Then the following year, I saw a teen author who had just published his debut novel and I was like DUDE I WANT TO BE A SERIOUS WRITER AND PUBLISH ONE DAY. And I seriously love writing because you can explore SO MANY OTHER LIVES THAN YOURS. I’ll wonder sometimes what it’s like to be in *this person’s* shoes, and it’s like HEY. I can write that! And then it’s like I’m living it.
    This post was seriously so awesome <3
    ~ riley aline

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      OMW YASSS. It’s not like I want to escape my life, but writing is just so…freeing. You can go anywhere and be whomever you want and gaaaah it’s so amazing!!

      THANK YOU 😀

  • Reply
    S.F. Dekreel
    February 10, 2018 at 9:24 am

    What a great post! I love reminders like this. It really resonates with me.
    Well, I didn’t become a full-on writer until I was thirteen, but when I turned SIX, I discovered the art of “picture stories,” stories made completely out of drawing, and no words. In order to narrate it, you just had to know what the pictures meant. I LOVED it. One of my favorite things back then was Pixar, so in my stories you could find Remy and Emile from Ratatouille, WALL-E and EVE from WALL-E, and Alpha from Up. I also had Sheeta, Pazu, Kiki, and others from the Studio Ghibli movies. So that’s how I became a STORY-TELLER.
    I became a WRITER when I was thirteen when I decided I wanted to write a children’s series. I kind of smushed American Girl and The Happy Hollisters together, two series I really liked. It was pretty dumb XD I never finished it, but maybe I’ll get back to it once I have really mastered the art of writing.
    As for the WHY, I became a writer simply because I loved story-telling. It’s been my favorite thing ever since I was little: to create stories, and maybe share them, no matter the form. Story-telling is a big part of me. And I love it. I love looking at inanimate objects and making stories out of them. Because every atom in the Universe has a story! I am so glad God made it that way. He is one cool story-maker.
    So there you go: my little bumble about how, when and why I became a writer. It’s the longest post I have ever done XD

    • Reply
      S.F. Dekreel
      February 11, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      *blinks at excessively long post* Oh dear, I seemed to have pulled a “bumble” again. *groans* *scratches table*

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Thanks, Dekreel!

      Oooh, that’s so cool! I did these little “cartoon” things with stick-figures for a while–it was pretty lame but I loved it XD Then I started writing about horses and SAME with American Girl: I totally copied the story of Isabelle XD

      Wow that’s awesome! I love hearing other writers’ stories. I hope you continue to glorify Him with your words for a long time 😀

  • Reply
    Hannah White
    February 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Aww, I love this! Your first story sounds very … lovely 😛 I started writing my first novel when I was eleven, but I think I knew I really wanted to be a writer a few months after, when my cousin and I were in Florida and working on our books together. It just became so much more real to me, and I realized how fun it was. And now, it’s so much more than that. Only a couple of years ago did I finally realize it was my passion, and what God is calling me to do with my life, and I couldn’t be happier 😀

    A lovely post, as always! <3

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Yes…it was shockingly tragic XD

      That’s such a beautiful story, Hannah! I love how you and your cousin started writing a story together 🙂

      Thank you!! <3

  • Reply
    Jane Maree
    February 12, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Ahh yes yes this post was such a good reminder. I used to write these quirky preachy little stories about a girl and her dad and how she’d learn more about God. Then after that the thing that actually got me into serious writing was my sister doing OYAN and me wanting to watch the lesson videos because there were cool snippets of a sword-fighting guy. XD
    My love story of being sword-obsessed. xP

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Aww, that’s sweet <33 I've heard a ton about OYAN and I kinda wish I'd done it.

      Nice XD I bet you know how to write really good swordfights now!

  • Reply
    Catherine Hawthorn (Farm Lassie)
    February 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I think it’s so neat how each writer comes to writing in their own unique way. Some seem to remain “children” forever, others are “grow up” really fast, and others stay in one stage for the longest time before moving on to the next.

    I feel like I’m in the teenage part of my writing story – I’m showing my writing and interacting with other writers but I haven’t quite gotten enough life experience to be out living on my own yet. I do want to write serious but haven’t quite broken the hobby slumps yet. gah.

    Wonderful post, Audrey!!!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      *nods* Definitely! I’m very thankful that I stayed as a “child” for a while or else I don’t think I would have kept writing when it got tough.

      You’ll get there! God made you drawn to writing for a reason 🙂

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    shewillwriteandwrite
    February 13, 2018 at 11:28 am

    This is such a special post!! I can’t say I remember exactly when I met writing, just that I’ve always loved dreaming up crazy ideas – and I suppose one day I just decided to start writing them down.

    The reason why I want to write is to tell stories that (hopefully) touch people’s hearts, and when they see characters struggling with something and then coming out on top, they’ll see that it can happen to them too. Also, I spend so much time daydreaming that something productive may as well come out of it! 😀 – Abi

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 13, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you, Abi! <3

      That's a very beautiful mission! Writing can be so powerful that way. And yes, might as well make daydreaming productive. I guess writers could be called professional daydreamers 😉

  • Reply
    Katie Grace
    February 13, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    OH MY GOSH. JAYE L. KNIGHT BEGAN MY WRITING STORY TOO. *mind explodes* She’s actually my second cousin, and I had just finished rereading her Makilien Trilogy by her other pen name. I wasn’t sure what else to read, but wanted another Christian medieval fantasy novel just like hers… so I wrote my own. Which was horrible and cringy and awful, but… y’know. .

    It’s so funny how she impacted us both! What an awesome human. <3

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      February 19, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      AAAAHHH THAT’S SO AWESOME. Like…whoa O.O And dude, she’s your second cousin!?! That’s so cool! She and her writing are so amazing <3

    Let's chat!

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