You know how “Diary of a Secret Call Girl” starts with Belle de Jour’s rather saucy disclosure that the first thing you need to know about her is that she’s a whore? I am not about to tell you that I suckered you into thinking this blog is about writing, when really it’s about sex, don’t worry (or am I approaching this from the completely wrong angle?), but what I would like to take from Belle’s statement is the upfront honesty about what she is. Of course she uses it to hook you – pun not intended – into following her story while me offering up the disclosure that I am a writer is neither a surprise to you nor is it very saucy. But it is the gods’ honest truth: I am a writer.
It all began with a marker and scribbling with it in the children’s books my parents so lovingly bought for me. I had many books to scribble in. These scribbles occurred long before I could read the stories of the books and the pages still carry the scars to this day: the casualties of a calling.
This was way back in 1985. I was three and my grasp of storytelling was non-existent, but there was curiosity. I continued scribbling. By the time I was in high school I had scribbled many pages and, lo and behold, they were even ledgible. It wasn’t until I was about to turn twenty, however, that I realized I could join together my love of storytelling with my love of movie-watching.
As avid a page-turner as I was at three, I was just as avid a movie-watcher.
It was the trailer for PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan that changed it all for me. I got inspired by the look and feel of it and still adore the movie till this day. (It gave birth to a whole world in my head, one that I’ve been returning to now and again for over a decade, trying to shrink it down to a size that will do it justice, and yet fit it perfectly onto the page.) Anyway – I found it very strange that I’d never put the two together before: how movies are stories that, of course, have to be written down in order to be visualized.
Now, I will freely admit that it has been a slow process getting from Point A: wanting to write movies, to Point B: possessing the tools to write them. Collecting tools as a writer, it appears, takes patience and perseverence. Okay, fine, collecting tools for this writer. Some seem to be born with them. But the twelve years I’ve spent so far (yes, how old am I really?) in honing this craft into my own have also carried with them bunches and bunches of joy, revelation and growth. The next twelve will as well. That’s the most encouraging thing about being a writer – you don’t have to fret about running out of inspiration because there is always something new waiting to be discovered.
So go and discover! But first, hit the BRB and go read my blog on writing in general and screenwriting in particular.