I've been writing my whole life. My earliest work that I remember is a poem I wrote at age 4 about a stinkbug:
why do you stink?
How do you stink
& think at all times?
We know you're not
worth a dime
Why do you stink?
Who knows...do you?
It's not prize-winning, or deep thinking...but it got rave reviews from my grandma. ;o)
As I got older I became a big fan of music. I'd flip through my mom & stepdad's record collection--which included Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Rolling Stones' Some Girls (both covers fascinated me)--as well as my own that had The Go-Go's, Olivia Newton-John, & Shaun Cassidy (I was SO in love!).
I convinced myself that I was going to be a famous singer. I set a goal to become the youngest female singer ever. I practiced daily and wrote song lyrics in my little notebook---some of which I even remember...and since I don't mind embarrassing myself for your entertainment, I'll post them:
Dreams are only visions
of thoughts running through your head
Heartbeat only rhythm
of the heart so bloody red.
Cheesy, and kinda sad--but hey, it was the 80's...and I was 11...cut me a break! ;o)
As I got older and hit the teenage years without achieving my dream of singing stardom, I was so pissed at Debbie Gibson for stealing my life...Tiffany, too.
But I still bought both their records and considered myself an official member of the Electric Youth.
Sophomore year my English teacher recommended me for my high school newspaper. I was so excited. I happily wrote my first several articles, so proud to see my name in the byline...but it wasn't long before I got caught up in the typical high school roadblocks to productivity: parties...drama...boys. I stopped writing articles. I stopped writing everything except an occasional journal entry.
Besides a few papers in college, I didn't write again until I met my husband. I wrote 3 children's books:
Bo-Bo Bunny's Busy Day
Sammy the Snake
Alliterative ABC's (working title)
But I got rejected on all 3...twice. I gave up and spent the next several years focusing on taking care of my illness and my son. I didn't give writing much of a thought during that time. When my son hit the teen years, I revisited the idea. I realized that all the things I love to read about so much--love & interpersonal relationships--I could write about.
So I took on the task of writing my first novel. Much to my own shock and the shock of anyone who knows me...I completed the novel. I am at a point now where I'm getting feedback from other writers and beta readers. I'm about to formulate a stellar query letter to snag my dream agent. I'm doing the final, finishing, very last edits.
I anticipate all of this will go smoothly (except maybe writing the query...they don't call it "query hell" for nothing.)...there's just one thing I can see holding me up.
I have to write a song.
I know I'm the writer of the book and I have control of what goes into or out of the storyline...but it's not that simple. My storyline demands the song...and I'm too scared to tell it no. ;o)
If I were 11 years old this would be a lot easier. The song would be cheesy and very early MTV...but it would be much easier for me. I am having such a hard time writing just a few simple lines of words strung together in lyrical form...when I just got through writing a 76,000 word novel...even more if you consider the editing. So this makes no sense. What is my problem?
Why is my brain so blocked when it comes to songwriting?
I'm running out of time. I need to get all disciplined with myself and make myself churn out a decent song. Maybe I can do it if I access that inner 11-year-old and temper her with my 40-year-old outer self.
If not, I don't think Debbie & Tiffany are too busy these days.