You always hear writers say that they've been writing for as long as they can remember. Well, here's what I remember.
The first story I remember was written after my aunt took me and my cousins to the lock and dam on the river. There were barges going through and all these noises. For some reason, I remember thinking about these scratching noises and I wrote a story about what lived under there and made the noises. I can't even remember now what it was; but if I looked hard enough, I might be able to find the notebook I wrote it in.
From there, what I remember most is fanfiction. And I was writing that before I knew what it was called. I wrote the Justin Timberlake-era Mickey Mouse Club (but I was a fan of Tony Lucca and JC Chasez) and New Kids on the Block. I stuck to boybands, I guess, because N'Sync followed.
I was a writer of "real" people. I never could get the hang of writing from TV shows or movies. The way I figured it, those were someone else's characters and I couldn't do them justice. Celebrities aren't much different, I suppose, because you only know them from what you see on TV or what you read in magazines.
There were a few other non-fanfics. One was about a girl going to college. The other was about a girl who gets money from an inheritance and leaves home. I don't remember now how they went but I'm sure there were boys and love involved.
That's what I always write about.
In 1999-2000ish, I was away at college. Far from home with little else to do, I started Cowboys and Angels. This would be my life's work for a long, long time. It took on many forms and characters changed. The original idea was always there, though. I know I completed one sequel. There's another one that I don't think I ever finished. I also started a part four. That might have been as recent as last year.
When I got it in my head that I wanted to get published, I thought I could take my last draft of C&A and revise it once to make it wonderful. I thought I could query it and see what happened. That was about a day after finding out what a query letter was.
Now, it's almost a year later. I moved my focus to another story that I started for NaNoWriMo in 2009, and I've been working on that ever since. It's taken on different forms and gone a different way than what I originally planned. But I don't outline. I don't lay out a detailed plot before I start. I take the original idea, jot down what I think will happen, and then I see what acutally happens. Sometimes it goes the same direction. This time it won't and that's okay.
I've got notebooks full of partial stories. Stuff I started and loved for a while. Every once in a while, I'll think that I need to dig out one of those notebooks and see what kind of wonderful thing I can do to it now that I've studied the craft a little. If I thought the story was brilliant when I first wrote it, just think what I could do with all my new knowledge of writing.
Have you read all my other posts on focus and keeping up with one project? Yeah. I'm still working on that.