Insecure Writers Support Group
IWSG,  Novels

What Started You On Your Writing Journey?

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January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

 

I’m sure I will not be the first aspiring fantasy author to say that my writing journey began with George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire.

I was a latecomer to the phenomenon that was the HBO TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. It wasn’t until around series 6 or 7 that my partner and I purchased a second-hand box set of seasons 1-5. We were hooked from episode 1. But to say we were a bit confused due to the volume of characters and information, is a bit of an understatement.

So, I figured that I may be able to learn more about the characters and the absorbing storyline from reading the books. I had an upcoming birthday, so asked for the first two books as presents, and duly started reading.

It did not take me long to realise that although I did understand more by reading the books, I still found it incredibly complicated. And it got me thinking about just how damn hard it must have been to write them, so my admiration for Mr. Martin began. I wanted to do what he had done – well, I will never be at his level in terms of a master storyteller – but I wanted to just attempt it at least.

That is how I fell in love with writing.

At that time – about a year ago from now – I decided to write a novel. Or try to. To be honest, I never thought I would even finish a chapter, let alone write a 101k-word novel that I am now proofing.

I am a 41-year-old fully qualified accountant that before last year had never written a word of fiction. Perhaps it is not the background that anyone would expect from a writer, but I can genuinely say that George RR Martin made me want to swap numbers for words and become a writer in my spare time. And for that, I have a lot to thank him for. Because I have now fallen in love with writing.

Never in my life had I thought about writing a novel. Until last year. Now, I cannot imagine my life without it. Every film or TV program I watch, I find inspiration or ideas for a future novel. Whenever I walk down the street, I see potential character bases. Every new place I visit is an idea for a location in a book I have not yet written. I’ve never thought like that before.

So, thankyou Mr. Martin. Thankyou for introducing me to the world of writing.

I have just been to see the new Star Wars film at the cinema with my partner. When I first started writing, I could only see myself as a fantasy writer. But after seeing this film, my second inspiration has presented itself, and maybe a dash at a sci-fi novel could be in order at some point in the future?

A writing journey can begin at any time, at any place. For anyone. As happy as I am to have found it, I do sometimes wish that I had discovered the journey a bit earlier in my life. But I’m not complaining – I have found it now, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.

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12 Comments

  • joylene

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    It was meant to be. And for want of another cliche, Better late than never. I’m glad you followed that little voice inside. Writing is a wonderful thing.

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  • J.H. Moncrieff

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    Don’t worry about the timing. A lot of writers are in their forties or beyond before they hit their stride anyway. Finishing a novel is a huge achievement, no matter when you did it.

    While I haven’t read the books or watched GoT, I did get to meet George at StokerCon a couple years back. He’s a funny, laidback guy…gruff, but in a joking way. He certainly didn’t put on any airs, and it was cool to see him waiting for a bus.

    My friend asked if she could take a picture with him, and he said “As long as I don’t have to move.”

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    • isthatadragon

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      Thankyou for the encouragement!

      He does seem to be that sort of guy, I would love to meet him one day. Maybe a bit beyond my means, but I have to hope!

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  • Alex J. Cavanaugh

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    It just takes that one thing to spark the imagination – and the writer!
    I’m a science fiction writer (inspired by the first Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica) but I’m also inspired by Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara series. (Although I’ve never written fantasy.)

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  • isthatadragon

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    Very true, I had never even considered writing my own novels until inspiration struck!
    I am just reading the first Sword of Shannara book at the moment, as coincidence would have it. It is giving me further inspiration the more I read.

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  • Rebecca Douglass

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    Wow! I can’t even imagine getting to your age without ever having thought of writing! I was probably more inspired by JRR Tolkien (what is it about fantasy and having RR in your name? Did Martin do that as a nod of respect to the master?). But actually it was probably inspiration from Marguerite Henry (horse stories) and the Hardy Boys and other adventures from my grade school reading!

    I’m super impressed that you’ve gotten this far in a year–best of luck as you try to edit that story and make it the best you can!

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