Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest: How it all began ...

Today I'm participating in the Origins blogfest, hosted by the very awesome Matt MacNish, DL Hammons, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Katie (Creepy Query Girl), where the participants answer the following: When and how did you first become a writer? How did it all begin? What are your writing origins?

For me, it was rather simple and abrupt. It was the weekend right after my birthday. For a few months, I'd been sort of playing with the idea of writing a book, but, having never written so much as a haiku outside of regular course assigments (oh-so-many years ago), it seemed kind of random. I think this happens to a lot of people--everybody thinks they can write a novel, right? That was me.

That weekend, though, I started it. And ... rapidly got sucked in to the point of obsession. Four weeks later, I'd written a 98k word paranormal romance. It was the most ecstatic, amazing experience. I couldn't believe I'd actually done it! I'd written a book!

Like many newbie writers, I was so infatuated with this story that I was initially blind to its flaws, and I wrote about 80k words of a sequel before I abruptly halted it. I realized I might need to slow down and learn a thing or two. So I started doing my homework, participating in forums, finding myself a crit partner, learning about the whole process--including the fact that I was one among at least 30,000 querying writers. That's a lot of competition.

It was two years ago this month when I figured that out. That was when I started writing SANCTUM--which will be released in the fall. Wow. It feels so funny to say that. So much has happened since then. I've written six full-length manuscripts and a few hundred pages of other stuff (short stories, partially completed work). I've made incredible writing friends. I've learned a lot. I've become part of a community. And I've had--and continue to have--A LOT of fun.

That's it for me! I can't wait to go around and read everyone else's stories! And if you're not participating in the blogfest, please tell us how you got started in the comments!

61 comments:

  1. I started writing before learning all the rules. Lol It was horrible.

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  2. Practice does make perfect, doesn't it? I think most writers begin writing without knowing 'the rules.' I know that I did. I find it so interesting that most of us who did, wrote quickly and finished, despite the quality of the work.

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  3. Wow, interesting how it came upon you so suddenly! And look how far you've come in just a couple years!

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  4. LOL Isn't it amazing that everything we "love" is perfect and at times we're the only ones who know it?!

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  5. Whoa. So you never wrote until you were an adult? That's kind of shocking but also kind of awesome. Good to get to know you better, Sarah!

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  6. I think we all get carried away at first. I think my first book was something like 130k. And it was MG. LOL! Thanks for sharing your origins!

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  7. You're the second origins blog I've read where you didn't start writing until you were an adult. Crazy, but I'm so glad you did! (start writing, that is)

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  8. talk about timing!
    you did what you were meant to do. good for you!

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  9. Wow, starting as an adult, huh? That's got to have some benefits that starting young doesn't have. Like writing with rules in mind from the get-go. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  10. With me, I hadn't written in years -at least a decade. Then, one day, I was browsing the internet and came upon something called fan fiction. I started reading a story and when I got to the end, I found it was unfinished and not touched in three years. I HAD TO KNOW HOW IT ENDED. So I was inspired to write it myself. I took the basic concept of the story and wrote my own fan fiction, and I've been writing ever since.

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  11. Sarah,

    I started writing again like the words were shot out of a cannon and like you, I eventually had to slow down, realizing that I needed to know about the craft to be really good at what I was doing.

    Congrats on your upcoming release!

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  12. Wow- 90K in four weeks is an astounding amount of work for the first manuscript. Kudos to you for hitting the ground running.:)

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  13. LOVE this story!!!!! Thanks for sharing your story. It's very inspirational !!! :)

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  14. I've always known I was a writer, it's interesting to hear from people who weren't born with a fountain pen in their hand! New follower here.

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  15. Wow, that's great! I am still working on my "writing" network but I hope my writing bug has the same ending as yours! Great story!

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  16. Loved your ORIGIN! I wrote my first book on a dare to myself, then afterwards I followed the same path you did (except I hadn't started my second book yet). Your story is an inspiration to writers like me! :)

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  17. Sarah, I love your voice!
    *Collide. Meld. Fight to the death. Snuggle* ~ Brilliant!

    Where can I find more here about SANCTUM?

    I've been a fan, but I'm signing up today to have you delivered right to my inbox!

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  18. Ohh, the siren song of that first novel. Good thing for it, otherwise we'd probably all give up

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  19. Shoot, that's awesome that you got picked up so soon! Let that writing fire burn!

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  20. What an awesome story! I think one of the best ways to find our voices is to write like mad and leave the learning to later. Get the story out and THEN edit and tweak. It certainly worked for you!

    Congrats on your novel coming out this year! How exciting!

    Cheers,
    Jen

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  21. I'm reading between the lines and seeing a lot of hard work! At the SCBWI-WIK conference last fall Lin Oliver made the point that to be successfully published a writer must "do the work." It sounds simple. It isn't. But you obviously DID work hard and will now reap the benefits! Wa-hoo!

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  22. I'm in awe. You started on a whim not long ago and haven't stopped publishing!? You clearly have many more books to contribute to the world. Thanks for finding, commenting, and following me. It's great to reciprocate and meet you, Sarah.

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  23. Wow, you write fast, 98k in four weeks that's amazing. Congratulations on the release of your book and thanks for sharing your story.

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  24. So awesome! I can't believe how much you have got done in such a short amount of time. It is making my day reading everyone's stories. :-)

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  25. Hi! I'm dropping by from the Origins blogfest. I loved reading your writing story and I'm so happy to know SANCTUM will be published in the fall:)

    Your newest follower,

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  26. Another success story!
    Yes, the competition is fierce, but you'll never get to the end if you give up (I keep telling myself this). : )

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  27. Four weeks and 98k words?? Now that's a story that was itching to be told!

    I wrote my first novel in 12 weeks. Just kind of barfed it all out. It was terrible, but I think I needed to get it out of my system (although it has been trunked and probably will be forever).

    Great origins story. :)

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  28. Wow! You're amazing to write your first book that quickly. That's a great story!

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  29. What an inspirational story, Sarah! I'm so glad I found you through the Origins blogfest. Thanks for following me. Now following you too!

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  30. Hey, it should feel really awesome to say your book is coming out this fall!
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

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  31. 98K in 4 weeks! That's amazing! Congratulations and all the best on future success!

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  32. This is a great story! I think we can all relate! It's really tough to step back and look at your book and see it's flaws. Almost painful. I've just gotten to where I can do this decently.

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  33. Holy moley, you are one FAST writer! And evidently, a talented one, too. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  34. I have a similar story in that I never started writing until a few years ago and now I couldn't not write. I love it. Isn't it great to find something so satisfying and that you don't need to be young, fit and beautiful to do!!

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  35. Congratulations on your success. I do think once we take our fingers out of the dyke, there is nothing left to do but write, write, write!

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  36. Wow, your story is amazing! Do you know how many writers actually get their very first book published?

    And where they heck do you find the time to write so much? Are you sure you don't have a time-turner?

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  37. Ahh, you were far more confident than I was. But when I did finish that first book, I was very euphoric like you were and immediately shot of a bunch of queries and started the sequel as well. LOL! That must be what you do.

    need to get revising on that first one~ :o)

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  38. Wow! What an amazing story. Especially the part about your book being published in the fall. Congratulations!

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  39. Wow, our origins stories are similar. I just started writing one day, too. I'm not as far along as you are, but I hope to be soon! Congrats on your success!

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  40. 'Slowing down and learning a thing or two' I know about that. Nice to meet you. I'll be back.

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  41. What a wonderful story! So many congrats on your novel and co-authored thriller! Now get to work on some child psych educational works for teachers! Just kidding. Wait...no really, get started...maybe some day... :)

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  42. I loved your story. It is wonderful you found your gift and are going to be published. Congratulations!

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  43. What a writing journey! Looks like you learned a lot in a few short years.

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  44. I love all the "just started writing and I have a novel coming out" stories.

    Bornstoryteller #132

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  45. Isn't the education process fun! Okay, nerdy, but fun! Thanks for sharing.

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  46. That's an amazing story! And congrats on your upcoming release!

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  47. That is quite an amazing story. You decided to be a writer, you wrote and then realized you needed to study the craft to perfect your story and voila, you did. I am very impressed. Congratulations on your upcoming release.

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  48. That late, abrupt, and random start sounds a bit like me! Congrats on the publication, I'm still working on that part :)

    BTW, glad to have found you at last. Blogger didn't want to reveal your blog when I clicked on your icon in the "Followers" gadget.

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  49. Wow, once you got started, you were really rockin', Sarah! :D

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  50. wonderful stuff! i adore to read this kind of stuff everyday

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  51. It truly is an amazing Origins story. You write in a blaze.

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  52. I'm curious which birthday this was! (Or at least approximately how long ago if you don't want to say your age lol)

    This was a great blogfest.

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  53. Great Origins story - thank you for sharing! :)

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  54. Congrats on your book releasing. Fantastic Origin story.

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  55. Learning while completing six full kngth manuscripts is a great achievement. Sounds like you have really earned your success.

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  56. If I'd known I was among 30,000 other querying writers, I might have stopped querying!

    My initial rush was so similar--90k in less than a month. What an exhilarating time!

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  57. I don't know how you do it! I think you have super powers.

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  58. Wow, so much writing in such a short time. You are truly meant to be a writer Sarah :)

    ........dhole

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  59. Good luck with your new release, SANCTUM. It sounds interesting. I hope that you work brings you happiness and prosperity ...

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  60. Hi Sarah. What a great origins story. I didn't really begin writing until my late forties. My estranged dad was dying (or so we thought) and my feelings really surprised me. A story just flowed out of me and in my naivety, I sent it to a local newspaper, and the rest is history! :)
    Well, I haven't finished my memoir, but have been published in a couple of Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, etc. I'm the complete opposite of you as far as writing my book. Mine is taking YEARS...mostly because of writers block and sabatoge. I struggle with that a lot. Thanks for sharing your story and asking to hear about ours, too!

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