How and when did your journey as a self-published writer begin? As a child, were you “always reading”? Did you fall in love with language at an early age, or find you naturally had a way with words? And did your muse arrive only in adulthood? British novelist Mari Howard posed these questions of ALLi's Facebook forum this week, triggering some interesting replies from around the world. Feel free to join our global discussion by adding your views in the comments box.
R R Lang (Australia): “I think people find their love of writing in many different ways. Often it's a channel for storytelling, in whatever form you have grown to love that medium.”
John Doppler (USA): “Writing is a craft; it can be learned like any other. However, if you don't love storytelling and working with language, it may be a poor choice for you. My friend struggles terribly with grammar and spelling, but she's committed to her craft, and she's learned to excel – she'll be publishing her second novel soon, with a third close on its heels.”
Mari Howard (England): “Interesting: what I'm trying to establish is, attitudes to what are often the received myths about writers…personally the ‘way with words' one annoys me when people say it of me – since I'm definitely the storytelling type – not the lover of words for themselves. I've no doubts about being here – in case anyone was wondering…”
J J Franklin (England): I'm a storytelling type too, and have to struggle with the rest. Am learning all the time though”!
Debbie Young (England): “I think there are heaps of people who grow up to be successful and enthusiastic writers to the great surprise of their teachers – Roald Dahl, for example, got terrible reports for his literary skills (and most other things), was always dreadful at grammar and spelling (and had great editors), but I think few would disagree that he was an amazing storyteller, for both children and adults. A trip to the Roald Dahl Museum where his old schoolbooks, reports and manuscripts are on display is very heartening for any writer!”
Eliza Green (Eire): “I never grew up wanting to be a writer, but I always loved grammar and spelling. Plus I tend to get over descriptive about things when I'm talking to people. One day, I just tried writing and liked that I could control the outcome of the story. The actual business of writing well took years. I'm still learning.”
Mari Howard: “So glad a famous writer was bad at spelling – as am I. I kind of hope that if Dahl had used a computer, he'd also have been prone to typos!”
How about you? Do tell!
To involve other author friends in the discussion, here's our suggested tweet to draw them in:
“Are writers born or made? Join the debate on the @IndieAuthorALLi blog: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/writing-are-writers-born-or-made/”