Since this is my first legit blog post (*distant fanfare*), I thought it would be fun to write about the most fascinating thing I could think of. However, since almost nobody else seems to fully appreciate the beauty, intrigue and sheer stabbing power of 18th century hat pins, I decided to write about the next best thing: Me!
(Hush. Y’all know you agree.)
So. Here goes…
Once upon a time, I learned how to read.
Now, I don’t remember exactly when the madness hit. In all honesty, reading and writing feels like something I’ve always done. But of course, that is impossible. I did not pop out of the womb clutching a typewriter (you’re welcome, Mom). My first word was not “sesquipedalian”. And I certainly did not learn to read by pouring over the Oxford Dictionary. Genius takes many forms. Mine is of a more, erm, subtle variety. But I digress.
The first book I read on my own was probably something by Dr Seuss or Richard Scarry. Honestly, can’t remember. My parents read aloud to me. I got loads of books on tape (Yes, tape. For you youngsters, that’s what the dinosaurs used to record things, way back before the first ice age). Basically, nothing special. No prodigal abilities or eureka! moment. But I was voracious. And it got worse. I probably learned to read on my own out of sheer spite, simply because bed-time reading from Mom and Dad was never enough. They wouldn’t stay up all night until they passed out, drooling on the page. Wimps.
I became a marathon reader. Absolutely no restraint at the library. A hungry little book gremlin, staggering under the weight of dozens of books. As I grew, the books got thicker. Admittedly, I wasn’t very discerning–learned what I did and didn’t like largely by process of elimination. I just read, and read, and read. Probably why I ended up shaped like a lopsided bonsai, but that is neither here nor there.
Under every cover was a new world, new people to meet, new things to learn. It made me quite giddy at times. Drunk off imagination. The best way to get lost. Hours and hours spent somewhere else. Books became a part of me, to the point where it’s difficult to tell where the words end and I begin. Fictional people and places have impacted me almost as much as real ones–perhaps more so.
After a while, I guess my head was so full of words that they had to spill out. Writing was a painful, slow process at first. Thirteen-year-old me would toil and agonize for a month to produce five pages of cramped, awkward sentences. And it was awful. Truly. The worst. But I didn’t stop, because I couldn’t. Once the tap was turned on, there was no closing it again. It was an escape, and I frequently needed escape.
I began scribbling. Notebooks, scrap paper, legal pads, sketchbooks. Anything and everything. My neat, cramped handwriting became crazed strings of illegible scrawl. I wrote constantly, though I never finished anything until I was seventeen; and even then, only short stories. The act of writing, of constructing worlds and characters, became as addictive as reading. I even won a few writing contests for teens, which was cool.
Then, lo, I got on the Internet. And I had to learn all over again. Because typing did not come naturally to me. I’m still slow by my generation’s standards. I was used to the tactility of pen and paper, the ease with which my thoughts flowed from nib or lead. I attribute this to my lifetime infatuation with drawing by hand–another learning curve I’ve had to hurdle with digital media. Yep, self-confessed Luddite here. But I’m learning. And frankly, I can hardly write at all without a PC anymore. The ease and fluidity of using a word software vs a pencil and pad is wonderful.
Another thing that came with the Internet was the ability to share. That was a big thing. A terrifying, thrilling thing. At first I only posted little bits of my writing. Nothing major. The feedback was positive, but never thorough. And after a while, I started to want thorough.
And that, Dear Reader, is how I ended up on Wattpad. I decided to pants a YA fantasy novel that became a trilogy, posting as I wrote. Terrible idea. But I’m stubborn that way. Again, probably mainly motivated by spite. That project took two years. I’m revising the drafts. I also write reviews, alone and with friends. Yeah, that’s right–I’ve gotten arrogant enough to have opinions now.
I don’t read as much as I did, and miss it. Writing is easier now, almost second nature. I’ve gotten more out of it than I ever thought possible; learned so much, from many different people–still am.
The tap is still running, flooding me with words on a daily basis. I never did stop trying to escape reality. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.
So there you have it. How I arrived here, starting a blog.
Let’s see where this goes, shall we? I’d love to have you along for the ride.
Fay Lane | July 15, 2019