Why I Write J Vincent


I’m told I was a story teller from my youngest years. I wrote stories as soon as I gained the ability to print. (My cursive is nearly illegible it’s a very good thing computers came along!) I wrote stories for assignments all through grade to college. I also made up stories for my younger siblings who believed I was far better at it than an English teacher I had in college. She gave me a “C-“ on a story and told me I was not meant to be a writer. She influenced me more than she ever knew but only in that as a teacher I never told a student what they shouldn’t or couldn’t achieve—but that is another topic altogether.

Why did I start writing as in writing a book length story? I believe I was led to it as a saving grace and a blessing. I used to find January-March very depressing and the myriad of emotions following my father’s death made it worse that long ago year. My husband entreated me to read to divert myself. I invaded the nearest public library branch, at that time the South Seneca branch which some of you may recall was quite small, and inhaled every historical and mystery it had. The reading helped but also provoked people who had evidently lurked quite peacefully in the recesses of my mind to make their presence known and over time, to become vociferous.
The voices were an organized bunch and came up with heros and villians, a plot line, a setting, and everything inbetween. How was I to resist? I decided the only way to get them to lurk once more was to write down this story they kept whispering in my head. And so I began to write. Once that book was finished the voices didn’t quiet down, they just changed into different people with different plots and different settings. What could I do? Write, of course.

Way back then I worried. First, whether or not the voices were normal. When I decided I didn’t care, I still worried and still do come to that. Not that I was crazy which would be more normal, but whether or not they would go away. In my wacky head this leads to goals. For most of the summer and fall doing anything was a struggle much less writing anything cohesive. A lethargy more severe than anything I’ve ever expierenced combined with other medical maladies made it impossible to think. In fact at one point I wondered if I had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. It was my mention of that fear that triggered extensive blood work which finally uncovered the medical culprit. I’m not back where I want to be energywise etc but at least I can remember characters names and have a building desire to return to writing. Those voices again. Those three outlined plots. That unfinished series.

No lofty goals this year. Just one. Redevelop the writing discipline. In other words BIC HOK (Butt in Chair Hands on Keyboard).
May all of you reach your goals this year!

8 comments:

Reese Mobley said...

Hearing voices in our head does not make us crazy--at least that is what my voices keep telling me. lol

Good luck with your goal!

Joan Vincent said...

Reese, my voices tell me we who hear them are much saner than most. Thanks for the good wishes.

Roxann Delaney said...

Wonderful, Joan! I love everyone's tales of writing.

Now where was the South Seneca library located? Having grown up in that area (half a block from West High), I should remember it, but we always went downtown to the big library. The old big library.

Joan Vincent said...

The South Senca Library branch was in a shopping strip. I think at 31st but am not sure. this was in the early-mid 70's after all. When I started writing I did all my research at the downtown main library. I'm so hoping the economic crunch doesn't curb plans for the really great library they've mentions when they get to building it.

Roxann Delaney said...

Joan, then in Seneca Square. That makes sense. I went to the one near Alley Park, at Stanley Elementary once, but it was small, also. It and another were combined to create the Alford Branch on S. Meridian.

Starla Kaye said...

That teacher deserved to be fired. I've never liked giving grades, and I especially dislike the way they (and certain teachers) try to pigeon hole students. But that is a whole other story... Anyway, good for you! You proved the stupid teacher soooo wrong!

Nina Sipes said...

Joan,
I'm so glad you're feeling better. I'm worried the characters won't show up any more. I didn't realize that was a fear of others.

Penny Rader said...

Love this, Joan - The reading helped but also provoked people who had evidently lurked quite peacefully in the recesses of my mind to make their presence known and over time, to become vociferous. The voices were an organized bunch and came up with heros and villians, a plot line, a setting, and everything inbetween. I'm quite jealous that your voices are an organized bunch. Maybe your story peeps can have chat with my story peeps?