Friday, October 22, 2010

My Writing Journey

(Note: This is my contribution to Dolly's guest post series.)

I'm an owl. I like the night. Nights are quite and peaceful. During these late night hours my brain seems to be the most productive. I'm a bit nervous about that interview thing, so my dear friend Dolly had friendly agreed to do it on my terms.
On a Friday night, about 11 p.m. Dolly enters the door to my private Room of Requirement. It seems to be a library, because of all the book shelves. To our right a huge glass front opens an amazing view over the gardens, but now you can only see the reflections of the room and my desk stuffed with papers, colors and lots of other material for my art (journals). I lead Dolly to the left, where two red, cozy leather armchairs are waiting for us. Because of the inappropriate time I'd ordered a little midnight snack. A big tray full with finger food, fruits and sweets covers the little table between the chairs. It's late October, the perfect excuse to light the fireplace. The flickering flames enlighten the scene magically. The crackle of the wood suits perfectly to the sound of a soft piano in the background. Chopin is playing. I don't know, what Dolly prefers to drink, so I prepared several refreshments. The room is filled with the aromatic smell of fresh coffee, but there's also a decent whiff of wine, which was allowed to breathe in its decanter.
We both sit down, enjoy our late meal. Some light conversation smoothes down my nervousness. But I know it's time to get serious, when Dolly puts her cup of coffee on the table and prepares her pen and paper. I lean back and wait for Dolly to start her questionnaire:

D.G.: "What do you write?"
Ah well, a fully grown author can answer that question straight away. But I'm just a student, who's still matriculated in the big school of writing:
You know, Writing-Kindergarten taught me the basic abilities of writing and reading. In Writing-Primary-School I've discovered that words are more than just plain reading, they are the entrance to whole new worlds. Reaching the level of Writing-High-School marked the beginning of my own writing. Experimenting with words and styles of writing formed my first short stories. Now, I'm a Writing-College-student, who learns about writing-theory, makes her practical writing-exercises, discusses with fellow students and authors about writing-topics. I guess I'm about to graduate. There's a novella called 'Voodoo Island', which is supposed to be my dissertation.
To cut a long story short, with that story in mind, you will find my books in the shelves entitled with 'Adventure' or 'Mystery' or 'Fantasy'.

D.G.: "How long have you been writing?"
The better question would be 'How long have you been telling stories?'. I have that very strong memory, sitting right next to my grandfather, in his car. He'd just picked me up from Kindergarten and I was talking and talking and talking. So eager to tell him the latest news and stories, discussing with him all my important issues. He was so patient with me and I loved it!
Writing simply gave me the opportunity to use another media with the advantage to make my stories a bit more permanent. And, who knows, maybe even eternal.

D.G.: "What got you started?"
It's very obvious, isn't it? Nothing but the desperate need to tell stories.

D.G.: "A Few important lessons you have learned along the way."
For quite a while now I ponder over the question, if destiny and muse are two fancifully, unpredictable women or if goddesses really just move in mysterious ways.
Look, I've been given those fantastic images in my head. Some beautiful become alive in my travel-journals. Some weird find their way into my dream-diary. Some funny just bust out while composing my emails. I also dare to say, that muse was so nice to grant me a quantum talent to bring those images properly to paper.
Alas, I'm still missing this one special thought. That one unique idea, that ignites me to develop an adventurous plot and great heroes and evil villains and passionate women and exotic places - everything exciting and big enough for a complete book.
I'm frightened that I've maybe already been given this one special thought, but I've literally missed it! That I haven't paid enough attention, haven't noticed it!
So, my advice to myself and everybody else: Pay attention to your senses. Everything you can see, hear, smell, taste or feel could be the sparkle of inspiration. Let these sparkles swirl around your head, transform and develop. Listen to your inner voices. Destiny and muse will let you know, when it's the right time for creativity!

D.G.: "What priority writing is in your life at the moment? Is it a hobby, career, potential career?"
Well, I was not destined to become one of those natural-born-writers, no professional author the caliber of a Stephen King. I'm totally fine with that. Lucky me, I love the job I have already ... or instead. So, this little girl still dreams the writers' fairytale, to have one day that unique idea and write a brilliant book. I don't need to be Germany's Stephenie Meyer ... oh, I won't repulse it ... I would be happy enough to publish a fine book with good reviews.
Until this miracle happens, I'll keep on writing down the images and voices in my head for my own enjoyment. Now and then, but as regularly as I'm used to do now.

D.G.: "Can you see yourself writing for the rest of your life, regardless of financial / popular success?"
'Can I see myself NOT writing?' I don't think so. Sometimes I feel like a schizophrenic, who has to write down the stories to ban them out of my head. Else it would become very crowded in there!

D.G.: "Anything else you may want to add?"
What could I say, that hasn't been said before? What could I say, that you haven't heard before? What could I say, that hasn't been written about?
Even these words have been said before ... I just say: Thank you for having me on the show. You've been very gracious with your time and patience. Thank you, Dolly, my dear friend.

Dolly has finished her last question and the silence between us is a friendly one, peaceful. At least, that's how I perceive it. After a while Dolly packs her things and I accompany her to the door. With her gone, my private Room of Requirement slowly vanishes into the darkness of the night ... I find myself sitting in front of my computer, it's 2 a.m. in the morning, writing the last few lines to close the door to this other world.


  • October 23, 2010 6:30 AM

    That is great. I think you would do well writing fantasy/adventure. There is something about your writing style that reminds me of books/movies like LOTR, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials.... And I feel like if you could add some "edge", some danger/spice, you might even get to be as daring, innovative and creative as those who came up with the idea for the Matrix, which was totally revolutionary for its time! Keep writing, my friend!

  • October 23, 2010 1:34 PM

    Thank you, Bri! :-)))
    Some people say: "You write what you read!" All your mentioned books belong to my favorites. Seems to be something true about that ... I hope so!
    Well, then I 'only' need a brilliant idea to write about.

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