Lately I’ve been pondering a lot about what made me the writer I’ve both grown to be and am still becoming. I haven’t been so much as intrigued with the craft itself lately, as how all the planets lined up for me specifically to become one of its pawns. My wheels had already been turning on this matter when a friend asked me what my blog was about. My response was that it was just about me in my element, and my journey as a writer. I shocked myself that I answered this way, because I really hadn’t thought of it in exactly that way before. When I began this I didn’t know it would be about that, but I realized everything around me depicts my journey as a writer, and I find it scintillating that as I write this very moment, the voyage floats in the making around me. That is exactly what this blog is about, and what my life is about. If my blog is about my life, then it’s about my writing.
Being aware of one’s element is key in the writer’s we become. Meditating on the components of those elements and mapping them out is crucial in the growth of a writer. I think that’s what I’ve been doing all along. My reflections are just as important in my process as are the actual pieces of fiction I produce. The reflections give me a bit of a compass to guide my way. I haven’t realized until lately that instances from my entire life that have seemed miniscule at times have proven to be major landmarks on my road trip as an aspiring author.
I recently started reading On Writing by Stephen King. When I asked my husband to get the book for me as a Christmas gift, I was expecting it to be more about King’s process, how he develops characters, what inspires him, and what literary devices he likes to incorporate into his stories. However, it was more a compilation of jumbled and not so poignant memories of his childhood (so far). At first I was puzzled by this. It was very entertaining and rendered me a nice insight to this man’s beginnings, but why was the book called On Writing? It should have been titled, On Stephen King’s Random Childhood. I really was totally missing the boat…until I was thinking about my own writing in an unrelated instance. Somehow I quickly moved from thinking about the art of writing to my childhood, and eventually events currently surrounding me. I realized that this is the process. The idiosyncrasies we use, the literary tools we lean towards, the subjects we know, and the nature of our characters are all really built in our atmospheres. Much like dreams, stories are born out of putting all we know, where we are, and where we have been, into a blender and pressing the button. Out comes our tendencies and our “x” factors that make us unique. From that blend, made up of a smorgasbord of now inseparable elements, is the writing process. Reflections are our attempts to sift through the mixture, analyze its contents, and learn more about its origins. From there we are enlightened. From there we start writing about writing. From there we begin to know where we’ve come from, and from there we fantasize about the enchantment of where we may go. Stories are born, new things go into the blender, and we’ve fed that never-ending hunger that keeps our craft alive, and therefore keeps our hearts beating.