Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The First Spark

Every now and then, a blogfest comes about with a concept so cool - or so close to you - that you just can't resist. The Sparkfest is such a thing for me. Every time I look back at why and how I started writing, I am amazed.

There are three prompts for this blogfest, all of which I'm semi-ignoring. It's the question on the bomb I want to answer.

Who set you off? 

My ex-boyfriend.

I've always maintained that you can learn and grow from every relationship. Well, my ex brought me to writing. There's no denying it. Without him, I'd have never tried a full-length novel. I would've stayed with short scenes related to roleplaying games, tied to each other with little structure. They were a blast to write, mind you, but they weren't novels.

They were for me and him, until the day he said they were really good. Not just fun. Good, writing-wise.

I don't know if he said it because it was true, or because we were, y'know, dating, but it doesn't matter.

It was the boost of confidence I needed to jump feet first into the adventure. It helped that I found NaNoWriMo just as I got my first novel idea, and that I managed to get to the end. It also helped that, just when I felt there had to be more to this writing-thing, I found Nathan Bransford and the Bransforums.

The very first spark, however, the one that set off the whole process, came from my ex-boyfriend. Some days I wonder if he'll ever know the wildfire he started.

So tell me, who set you off?


  1. Ah, I experienced something similar with my husband. Others had seen little bits of my writing before, stuff just for fun, but I didn't really trust anyone else to be a good judge of writing. My husband is super intelligent and has EXACTLY the same taste in books as I do, so when he said I was good... I couldn't help but believe it. And I finally began to believe I could actually be an author and not just a hobbyist.

  2. At first I thought you were going to say angst from the ex-boyfriend, but your version is much sweeter! I just like drama.(Can you tell that I'm a writer?) Hmm...Idk for sure what set me off, but in middle school I liked writing for fun, but I started to write more seriously b/c no one was writing what I wanted to read so...I fulfilled my own wishes.

  3. Hah, I did the same thing for my post. For me, it was my mother. Let's just say I get my crazy imagination from somewhere.

  4. I have been seeing Sparkfest all over the blogosphere the last couple of days. I completely missed it! It's a great idea.

  5. Sommer: Hey, there's two days left, you can still jump into the fray!

    Sarah: I spent a lot of times wondering if he said it because he didn't dare say the opposite but...
    a) I never asked him to tell me if it was good or not so that was a spontaneous comment
    b) What does it matter, really? I started writing. That's the important bit. ;)

    Nia: Thankfully, no angst. ^^ I'm always amazed at people who've been writing since middle grade or earlier. It would have never occured to me as a kid.

    cookie: Yep, I saw that! Love it.

  6. Sweet spark! I was expecting angst as well . . .I think that just says something about my experiences with ex-boyfriends . . .oops. I've been inspired by my grandma, my mom, various authors, books, friends, and my husband - the first one to truly believe I could be published - to the point where it kind of amazes me. He just expects it to happen eventually - no doubt in his mind at all - which is encouraging for me.

  7. I love this post! People come into our lives for a reason :)

  8. I'm going to fall back on my parents giving me that garden shed library when I was six. I was bound to be a writer (and really poor at yard maintenance).

  9. Neat! My ex sparked something, but it wasn't confidence (more like anger). :0)

    Thanks for sharing. My sparks are at:

    The Write Soil

  10. Tyrean: That's so sweet. My current boyfriend is more like the call of reality when I rant about YET another rewrite. He follows the "That's what you have to do to get there. I know you can." line. :)

    Angie: Thanks! I like to think we can learn something from every relationship. Even the super bad, gonna-smack-your-face ones.

    Margo: Maybe your poor yard maintenance is the reason nature creeps up as a destroying force in your novels. :P

    Dawn: Yeah, anger is what my first boyfriend now sparks. ;)

  11. What a lovely story. Glad you got such a wonderful thing out of the relationship. My mother sparked the current spree of writing. Thanks Mom :)

  12. Haha - great answer Claudie! For better or worse, the people in our lives are always interesting sources of inspiration.

  13. Hi, Claudie! The people in our lives, however brief, can definitely inspire us. I have family and friends who are always encouraging me. That's motivational too!

  14. Yes, yes yes! Haha. I actually didn't realize how literally everyone would take the prompts when I wrote them. To be completely honest, I just meant for them to be examples of what *kind* of questions people could ask themselves, but everyone who answered them exactly wrote fantastic posts anyway, so I'm not complaining! I love your spark, and I love the fact that you can hone it down to this one moment. Thanks for sharing your special story :D

  15. Also, biochemistry? I am so jealous XD