A high like no other
I remember getting my first writing assignment when I was eight years old, living in Chiangmai, Thailand. My Language Arts teacher wanted us to write a story about a circus. As I recall, my story had something vague about visiting a circus tacked on at the end. It was mainly about a group of friends biking around and going to a video store to rent movies then taking them back home to watch. I guess I was guilty of doing that classic amateur mistake of putting in way too much world-building instead of getting straight to the point. I think the only kid in my class who wrote a decent story was this one boy who wrote a story about the circus from the point of view of a monkey. I am actually still facebook friends with him and I’m pretty sure he never went into writing. That’s a shame because he got off to a good start.
Recently, just for fun, I’ve been taking some online courses. I decided to take a creative writing course from Wesleyan University. When I was fifteen, I began writing a novel but never really got past the third chapter. I think, at the time, I was really more interested in finding out what happened in the story than in actually writing. I kept at it on and off for a few years until I ended up in West Africa as a volunteer. Due to a lack of free time and mostly because we only had electricity from midnight to three AM, I made very little progress on the story and eventually in my travels lost the file so gave up on writing. I hadn’t really done any writing since then other than for university papers other than a few poems and one song I wrote when I was in my twenties.
When I started the first writing course which was called, the Craft of Plot, I discovered something I had forgotten or maybe I had never really experienced it before: the writer’s high. People get high on different things. By high, I don’t mean the kind of high you get from drugs or drinking where you lose control of your faculties. This is the kind of high you get from doing extreme sports or when you propose to your girlfriend, when your blood gets filled with adrenaline and the world comes into a crystal clear focus.
I’m pretty sure the writer’s high is different for everyone. The best analogy I can think of for how it felt as I started doing the first assignment for the course was that scene in “The incredibles” when Dash is running from the villain’s henchmen and starts running as fast as he can. After a few minutes he looks down and sees that he’s running on water. The look of pure joy he gets on his face as he runs at his maximum speed is exactly how it feels for me when I write and the words are flowing. I went on to do about four months of creative writing courses. Thanks to the encouragement of a good friend of mine living in New Zealand who I shared my different writing exercises with, I’ve decided to get back into writing.
So we come to this blog. Quite a few books on writing I’ve read recently state that if you’re a writer you need to have a blog. Which brings the question if you have a blog what do you blog about? Obviously if you are a writer with a blog you blog about writing but with the plethora of writing blogs on the internet, is another writing blog necessary? Yes is my answer, because this my blog about my experience writing which hopefully some of you will be of interest to someone somewhere who might just start writing him or herself. Additionally when I become a famous published author you can say, I knew him back when he first started writing.
I’ll be writing articles on this blog, mostly about my experiences getting started writing and the different projects I’m working on. I hope to post something at least twice a week if I feel I have something to say but definitely at least one post on Monday to get the week started right. I will leave you with this writer’s joke for you to finish: A novel, a short story and a poem walk into a publisher’s office…