Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where The Journey Began

Hi. I'm Laura, and I'm a writer. When I tell people this, I often get the dreaded question of "Well, have you been published?" which can lead to a long story about past experiences or a more simple "Not yet, but hopefully someday." and leave it at that. I just want to say for the record that being published or unpublished doesn't make you any more or less a writer, and fellow writers will understand this. Writing is in the blood, in the soul, consumes the mind, and sets up house in your dreams. If you're writing to strike it rich or become famous, odds are you will be sorely disappointed. And if that's all writing is to you, you'd be better off buying some lottery tickets.

For me, my passion for writing began when I was a child, and the title of my blog is inspired by the events that led me to writing my first novel. When I was twelve, I made a very important decision: it was time to pack a way my toys and grow up. After all, soon I would be thirteen. ThirTEEN. Yes, a teenager. And certainly teenagers aren't supposed to play with toys. Teenage girls are supposed to learn how to apply makeup (still haven't), have slumber parties (never did), and start dating (yeah right). Oh boy! What fun being a teenager would be!

So, I got to work packing up my toys. The last and most painful ones to see banished into a cardboard box and eventually my closet were my Barbie dolls. I had neverending storylines going on with them...for years! I tried to wrap up the loose ends and put my mind at ease, but it was no good. When I went to bed that night, like so many nights before, I thought about the continuing saga I had developed through my dolls, and I nearly drove myself insane. Usually, the cliffhangers gave me something to look forward to the next day. I couldn't wait to come home from school and play with my toys and act out all the scenarios in my head. But the next day came, and the dolls weren't waiting for me. Oh, that's right. They'd been banished. I was too old for that stuff now.

 Every night was the same. I couldn't go to sleep, my mind raced with story ideas, and I had no outlet for them. Until finally one day, I sat down on my bed with a stack of notebook paper and started writing out my storylines...from the beginning. I got stuck after 30 pages, but I didn't give up. I took a break from it, and decided to take a different approach. I got my parents' electric typewriter and started typing away. The story came easier now. It was somehow clearer in my mind and more organized. 150 pages later, my first novella was complete. I was satisfied. The story was told. My dolls could rest in peace.

But of course, it didn't end there. I started writing another novel and another and another, and didn't stop. I never took a break from it during my teen years. And you know what? Being a teenager WAS fun, but not for any of the reasons I thought.

As hard as it was to come to terms with no longer being a child, and having to give up the play things I loved, I realized that something so wonderful came out of it. And even once those childish things are put away, they still live on in one way or another. For me, it's through writing. And what a magical journey it has been, and will hopefully continue to be.

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