Events that kicked my writing bum (Melissa Robbins)

Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

I've been a writer since childhood, but when this month's topic came up, four events stuck out in my mind. In college, I took three English classes. My first two teachers hated my work. I learned the concept of subjectiveness early on and the fact that I'm not a non-fiction writer. Although my third English teacher didn't like my writing either, he called me into his office and said I should try this, this, and this. For the life of me, I can't remember what he said or even his name, but the fact that my teacher took the time to help me did wonders for my passion to write.

Fast forward to almost a decade later. My son, Duncan was born with heart defects and remained in the NICU for five weeks. With a new baby and a two year old, writing was put on the back burner, but now I had plenty of time to write. After spending a vacation in Scotland the year before, a story and characters started forming. While my mom watched Emma in the afternoons, I sat in Duncan's hospital room and wrote about a WAAF in WW2. Her background and name are different than the Wren in my stories today, but Jack, my cheeky fighter pilot, never changed his ways, much to the delight of the rest of us.

A couple of years later, my writing had stalled again. My story was going nowhere and I gave up on it. Not my characters, though. Finding the time to write seemed impossible. Then one day after starting a new plot with the same characters, I discovered Fran, a fellow Irish dancer was also a writer. I hadn't found anyone to share my story with that I wasn't related or married to before. I was thrilled. We exchanged first chapters and Fran gave me that kick in the pants I needed to start writing again.

I can't remember how long after that that my computer died and I lost everything I wrote. I know. I learned my lesson. As Fran can attest to, the loss was probably a blessing in disguise. My story was in third person, but since I had to start all over again, I tried first person and found my voice.

My fourth event, fifth if you count the computer crashing, was when I joined Sisters in Crime and WARA. I decided that year I wanted to be a serious writer. I finished that story I spent years working on. Writing is a pretty solitary life. The critiques and encouragement I receive from fellow writers help me immensely both with my writing and in life in general.


Reese Mobley said...

You definitely learned your lessons at the school of hard knocks! WARA gained a wonderful writer and good friend the day you joined. Merry Christmas and Happy New Writing year to you and yours!

Melissa Robbins said...

Thanks, Reese!