I was about six or seven when I wrote my first story. My grandmother had busted me for lying, and in an effort to deflect some of the trouble I was going to get into, I thought I’d write my dad a letter telling my side of the story. However, since I did indeed lie, I didn’t have much of a side, certainly not one that was different than my grandmothers. So my interest in the letter waned and I wrote a short story about a pig instead.
I was hooked. I loved that my pencil scratched out a plot on paper. I loved that I had complete control over what happened next. I loved that I could change my mind, go back and make that pig take another route that would be more interesting. I was immediately hooked, and still am.
Some say to be a writer you must write every day (shout out JA). Some say you just have something in you that makes you want to write – writers are compelled to write, so to speak. Some say it’s tumultuous. Some say it’s easy. I say it’s like any relationship – it has its ups and downs. Sometimes I want to write for days, weeks, months. Sometimes I am depleted and have nothing to say. I love it. I hate it. I am disappointed in it. I am thrilled with it, by it, for it.
I think in prose. I develop characters while waiting in line. I like assholes because I can use their arsey behaviour in a book. I pay attention to the smallest movements – golden blond arm hair in a slight breeze, raised eyebrows between knowing friends, a waiters thumb nudge from touching the food to not touching the food, that subtle jaw movement between wanting to say something and changing your mind.
I live for these moments. I jot them down in my ever-present notebook and use them as building blocks to characters, ideas. I think my addiction to writing makes me a writer. That’s what being a writer is to me – a complete addiction to making things up as I see fit. Not lying, like I did to my poor grandmother, but creating.