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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Writer Story

Tia Nevitt wrote about her writer story and she got the idea from her buddy, Kristin.

I thought this was a wonderful idea and I encourage you to tell your own writer story. Post a comment here and maybe we can send some traffic your way. I'll repost any links on this blog on Thursday. Tia's story is in two parts. Part one is here. And part two is here.

The idea of telling your writer story is to give a tiny glimpse on what started you on your journey. When I read Tia's account, it really gave me an appreciation for what she went through and it also showed me a bit of her perseverance and passion.

So here's my story for what it's worth.

English is not my first language. I was the firstborn child of Mexican immigrants. My father understood some English, but my mother did not.

When it was time for me to go to school, I struggled terribly. I was always very frustrated and depressed that I couldn't keep up with the other kids. But it galvanized me like nothing else. I didn't want to be left behind, so I doubled my efforts, memorizing rules of English and practicing my writing every night. At the wee age of six years old, I promised myself I would outdo every single classmate before I finished grade school.

As I learned English, so did my parents. And in turn, it made it easier for my siblings now that they had a big sister to blaze the way.

That was the first hurdle of many.

Since creative writing was still too difficult for me, I concentrated on drawing and became pretty good at a very young age. It was the only real way I had for expressing myself. Even back then, I had an overwhelming need to communicate what was inside me.

Every year, my English improved and so did my spelling. Before I finished grade school, I had won the state spelling bee, beating out a longtime rival and the class favorite for champion. In my mind, I had finally made it. Now it was time to find a new challenge, and that's the first time I ever consciously wrote a story all my own.

Typical for me, it was SF and it was a spoof on the fledgling Apollo mission. It was about Apollo 124 and an astronaut who'd rather eat than watch the control board during a docking procedure. Houston had a problem long before the infamous lines were spoken during the Apollo 13 mission.

It became an instant hit and it was passed around to several other grades. I was shocked that people loved it so much. Who knew I could write--let alone be funny? Certainly not me. I just wrote what I wanted to read.

Ironically, I still didn't pursue writing despite my early "fame". I always volunteered if someone needed an article for the school newspaper or a company newsletter, but I never wrote of my own volition.

Slowly, almost imperceptively, I found myself writing more and more. But I wasn't a writer. No, not me. I convinced myself of that until one day when I wrote a story that was burning inside me. When I finished, I discovered to my shock--I had a novel!

Without realizing it, I had turned into a writer.

Michelangelo once said that his marble figures were buried inside the massive slabs of stone. All he did was chip away the excess and release them from their shrouds.

Maybe like Michelangelo's statues, the writer was inside me all along. I just had to chip her out, one story at a time.

Post your writer story here, or on your blog and then send me the link. I'll be glad to repost all links on Thursday.


Tia Nevitt said...

That was lovely. Wow; trying to learn a second language--that had to have been hard.

Thanks so much for the kind words.

Sarita Leone said...

Maria I love your story. I love it that you persevered and succeeded. Thanks for sharing it with us.

My story? I'm not sure I've got one! I'm very ordinary. :)

Maripat said...

I have issues just speaking English and it's my native language. I applaud you for learning it as a second language. Thank you for sharing that.

Like you, I enjoyed writing but it didn't occur to me to do it full time. My story is posted over on blogger:

Mari Carr said...

I love this idea and I really enjoyed hearing your 'writing' story. I taught an ESL class this year and I can appreciate the difficulties you faced.

I've taken a stab at writing my own story at

Thanks so much for this idea--I look forward to reading about other writer's journeys!

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: You are an inspiration.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita, how can you say you're ordinary? I just stopped over at a couple of your sites and you bubble with activity, woman! I am impressed. I've no doubt your writing story mirrors your life. I hope you'll post it.

PS Love your blogs! I am going to have to pass the link to your recipe blog to a friend of mine. He's going to love it! Thanks for stopping by.

Maria Zannini said...

Loved your story, Maripat! Your mom must feel relieved that you turned out to be a writer.

>>I have issues just speaking English and it's my native language.


Maria Zannini said...

Hi Mari,
Loved your story. There's a lesson in there for all of us.

--just say no--unless it's to a free night of writing without interruptions.

Thanks for stopping by!

Red Garnier said...

What a wonderful story, Maria!! So inspiring, you're awesome! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Red! Fancy meeting you here. I can't wait to read about your story.

MJFredrick said...

What a great inspirational story! Love your blog!

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, Mary! And thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,
My CP, Mari sent me over here to check out your story. I love finding out how people got started in this crazy world of writing.
I re-posted my story over at my blog, we did this a few months ago but I love to share and I had a bit to add.
Great idea to get people surfin' around to some great authors.

Maria Zannini said...

Glad you could make the party, Rhian. And I'm so glad to meet you!

When I get back from my road trip, I will have to find you on MySpace.