The Ebony Quill

Thoughts, reflections, and whimsies as I experience life

How Writing is Affecting my Life

Okay, so I’ve hardly written 10,000 words, but I can already see the tendrils from my imaginary world extending into the real world.  Before I describe the changes that writing a novel has wrought in my daily life, I’d like to explain my relationship with writing.  I was never much of a diary-writer.  I tried countless times (I’ve got at least five different diaries lying around my bedroom as proof of that) but I’ve always found that writing my “feelings” in a diary was an inadequate means of delineating my emotions or experiences.  I would get impatient and frustrated that the words on the page were a shallow and unsubstantial representation of the depth and color of my experiences, insights, and revelations.  Nonetheless, I always took pleasure in writing essays for my high school English class or writing papers for International Relations courses in college.  Every semester, I have to take a course that allows me to write.

Writing a novel is on the list of things to accomplish over the course of my life.  It never occurred to me before this summer that I didn’t have to wait until I was 35 or 40–I could start right now.  The first thing I did, of course, was research the average length of a young adult fiction novel, which turned out to be around 75,000 words.  Digesting that piece of information was difficult; the longest paper I’d ever written was the International Baccalaureate Program Extended Essay my senior year of high school.  However, daunting as the task seemed, I decided to think about it as a personal challenge and give it a shot.  Writing a novel feels completely different from writing an essay or a diary entry.  There are no expectations, no rubric to follow, nothing that needs to be said: it’s liberating.

Thus, I think it’s worth enumerating the ways that writing a novel has changed–and, hopefully, will continue to change–my life:

  1. Things that I’ve noticed in television shows, books, the people around me, and events and experiences have transformed from idle observations to relevant conclusions that I incorporate into my work.
  2. I am constantly thinking about the novel, the plot, the characters, etc., causing me to become absent-minded in other matters.  Lately, I have begun stuttering and struggling for words and find it difficult to follow a conversation, because I’m constantly drifting off.  The fact that this new phenomenon is not reflected in my writing is a clear indication of where my mind is.
  3. Now, I don’t  just read because I love to read: I look at the way authors structure their paragraphs and dialogues, how they describe their settings, the way they characterize, etc.  When I read a scene from a novel and absentmindedly think of a better way of writing it, I’m actually inspired and this influences the way I write.  I amalgamate and infuse the practices of my favorite authors into my own work.

Those are the very basic ways in which writing is changing the way I view and interact with the world.  I’m sure that even more changes will occur as I continue to write and I’m looking forward to experiencing them and sharing them with all of you.

How has writing affected the way you see the world?



Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “How Writing is Affecting my Life

  1. jamesroom964x on said:

    Cool post. My writing colors the way I see the world as well. If I’ve got an idea rolling around in my head that I’ve been writing about, I have to talk about it with other people. I have to see what they think of my characters or concepts. I don’t always let opinions influence me, but I have this weird need to share what I’m working on.

    • I can relate to that – I often relay to my brother any ideas I have for my novel, if only to say them out loud. This helps me figure out whether or not they make any sense while getting some feedback.

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: