Inspiration

Hi all! Today I welcome Angela Brown to MFB. Her blog is one of my favorite stops, because her publishing journey feels so much like mine and I’m glad not to be alone. 🙂

Take it away Angela!

Inspiration comes in various forms. A move can inspire a writer to embark on a word-journey to share how terribly wrong a relocation cross-country can go. A husband overcoming a depressed time in his life can inspire a wife to share her journey of support. In a split second of wild imagination, a shadow in the peripheral vision of a teen can inspire a haunting horror story.

For me, inspiration came in steps.

First, through a gifted and talented class in elementary school. We wrote tall tales, poems and called our gathering of kiddie-genius a hodge-podge. Our teacher even took our stories to a printer, had them collated (didn’t really understand that word at the time), bound by black plastic rings and given a pink front and back cover. I was young and naive. Didn’t realize I was actually “writing”.

Reading Blume gave way to Tolkien and Lewis. They took me to foreign places I’d never heard of, places I could only go in my imagination. Reading them sort of made writing seem out of my league. Who would take a nerdy teen from the projects seriously? So I focused on getting a REAL job.

In 2004, my heart-deep inspiration to take my writing seriously weighed in a smidge over seven pounds. My Chipmunk. When I beheld her beautiful eyes and total innocence, I wanted her to know that she could become anything. That she could make her dreams come true. But I hadn’t given myself a chance to make MY dream come true. What better way than to show her and not just tell her? So, to the laptop I went and penned the first manuscript I eventually disposed of. May it rest in digital peace. Then I had another idea, penned it and felt a little better about my story this go-round, even went to my first writer’s conference where I met Evelyn Palfrey, an author of ‘marvelously mature’ romance novels. She’d self-published and eventually gotten picked up by Simon and Schuster. Her journey? Another powerful inspiration.

Armed with a success story and my very own manuscript, I embarked on a few false starts and stops, family changes, attitude changes, changes in residence and moments of giving up on this writing dream. But my Chipmunk was there, my ever-present inspiration to continue the pursuit of my dream. With her hugs and smiles, I’ve remained inspired to this day.

My journey is still ongoing. That manuscript I felt pretty good about got a self-published nod from me but life was – complicated – and I’ve since had to move on to other story ideas. I’ve yet to snag that NY agent or pull down that dream multi-book deal. Not sure those are going to happen (if/when they do, WOO HOO!). But unlike when I was a teen, becoming an author doesn’t seem out of my league anymore. And my inspiration laughs a little louder, smiles a little brighter and keeps me enthused to show her the importance of persevering and making dreams come true.

Thanks so much Angela. I love seeing how people started writing.

What about you? What inspired you to start writing?

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26 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. Wonderful story, Angela! I'm glad your Chipmunk inspired you to take your writing dream seriously. 🙂

    Books inspired me to start writing! When I was little, I loved reading so much that writing my own books and stories seemed like a natural step. I started taking it more seriously in college during my writing classes. My classmates, with similar writing dreams as mine, and my writing professors were a huge inspiration!

  2. Angela, lovely story, and you most certainly are not out of that league. Your writing is fabulous, intertwined with imagery and beautiful language. Your day is coming, blog sister. 🙂 I too, wrote from a very young age, had poetry and stories bound by the plastic spiral in school. Gosh, how I covet that tattered copy! Some day, I'll look back on “the book” and giggle. xoxo

    Thank you, Misha for bringing me a side of Angela I didn't know. I love your name btw.

  3. Thanks, Alex. For a while, I really didn't think I could be taken seriously as an author but that perspective has changed for the better, and I'm so glad about it 🙂

  4. It's true that birds of a feather flock together so it's wonderful that you've surrounded yourself with other writers and dreamers who continue to fuel your steadfast dream. I've learned the benefit of doing the same.

  5. Oh, Maria, throwing the gauntlet down to challenge oneself is lofty indeed! Not a lot of people can push themselves to try something wonderfully new, especially writing.

  6. For me, it was the moment in the movie “Stand By Me,” when Chris Chambers tells Gordy LaChance he was meant to be a writer and not to worry about what others thought. It sparked a dream in me that although I've set aside a few times over the years, raising kids, recovering from a disastrous marriage, hasn't died. In fact, it gets brighter with each day that passes.

  7. Thanks for sharing such a nice story Angela!

    When I was about 11 and twelve I wrote poetry and enjoyed writing my essays and kept a diary. Whenever I visited the library, I was fascinated with people and their lives in the autobiographical section. Several years later, at fifteen I announced to everyone I was going to write about my life.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. I haven't read The Cruel Sea but if it sparked your inspiration, I think I'll have to add it to my TBR…especially if you're still weighing if it was a plus or minus 🙂

  9. Love this story Angela! Keep pushing forward and growing, it isn't out of your reach.

    As for me, what inspired me to start writing…hmm, I guess it would have been all those sleepovers back in junior high. She was great at the middles but I was better at the beginnings and endings thus started a bunch of writing. We were actually talking about this on Facebook not too long ago wondering if either of us had held on to any of those stories.

    What brought me back to writing? Finding myself rewriting sentences, endings, and even entire chapters as I read.

    What keeps inspiring me? Watching the wee beasties crafting their own stories and comics, though #1's work is more graphic novel than comic these days.

    Fabulous post Angela!

  10. That's really sweet your daughter inspires you to keep writing.

    I began writing again because I wanted (through my books) to inspire others to pursue their dreams. That was even the slogan for my YA series – “Get inspired to achieve your dreams.”

  11. Hi Misha and hi Angela,
    Ah yes, inspiration and the passion to write, can come from many sources. Emotions fill the heart and are produced from the magic of the written word. It can be wondrous to recollect our childhood writing experiences. Indeed, a catalyst for future inspiration.
    Here's to you, Angela and much inspiration in all your writing endeavours. And Misha, keep going and happy writing to you.
    With respect and kind wishes, Gary

  12. Great post. It's true that inspiration comes in many forms and it never stops. I started writing for my own amusement and to make sense of the world around me, with little plays when I was 10. Those motivations are still pretty big. I'm also glad you realised being an author was something within your grasp!

  13. Great post. I agree that inspiration can come from anywhere. I starting writing thanks to my cousin. She used to babysit me and my sister. We get super hyper, fight and run about the place so come bed-time she'd be too tired to read so we'd have to tell her stories instead. That's how we got the bug(My sister also writes to this day). Well done, Angela and Misha-hopeflly you'll be on bookshelves soon.

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