Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How do you know you're a writer?

When I was a little girl, I was a liar.

I lied about anything and everything, just because the lie was more interesting than the truth. I told one potential friend that I was born in China, and had two Great Danes so big I could ride them. I never really did it for the attention, or to get others to like me. I just saw the world a different way in my mind than it was in reality.

I lied to my parents. Not to keep myself out of trouble, but just to see if I could get away with it. Sometimes I did. And sometimes the lies grew too big to contain, and took on a life of their own. That's when I'd get caught in one.

When my parents, or kids at school asked me why I lied, I'd shrug and look away. I never really knew then why I felt so compelled to change the facts. Now I know that there is some part of me that has always felt the need to re-write reality to suit my wishes. Maybe that's a selfish desire, but that was what drove me to write my own books as a teen, finding something lacking in the books I'd been reading. I wanted to create my own realities, and writing novels was the best way to do that.

It's only in recent years, since I started writing again as an adult, that I've thought about the little fibber that I once was: a bragger of false truths, a teller of tall tales. There was never anything malicious in my lies. I was just a girl looking for something. The stories I tell now wouldn't be nearly as inventive if not for the imagination of that girl. Have I found what I was looking for yet? I think I'm getting there.

Am I still a liar?


What? You don't believe me? ;)

How do you know that the writing life is the life for you?


Rebecca Knight said...

You know what's funny? You sound like Mark Twain ;).

Great post, and thank you for sharing a little insight into Tereliz. I didn't used to be a liar (because I'm terrible at it and would crack like an egg), but my favorite thing in the world was just to close my eyes and make up elaborate day dreams or sit alone in my bedroom acting out stories. I was Cave Girl with my dinosaur friends, I was rescuing princes, swinging on vines, being a mermaid in the bathtub.

I'm solitary (although I love people), and dreaming was my favorite. Now, I do it on paper :). Very interesting. I'd never really thought about it before!

Suzanne said...

I was a liar too. Crazy. I remember being on a plain to go down south to visit my dad, and I fabricated a whole life for myself (accent and all) to the guy who sat next to me. I had him tearing up! Poor guy.

Eric said...

I don't believe I was a liar, but I often made up stories in my head. These stories were only told to myself (yes, I talked to myself and still do), and only recently have they begun to migrate to the page. I'm still trying to decide if I really want the onerous duty of being a full-time author, but today the answer is Yes.

Abby said...

I never lied as a kid. Except to get myself out of trouble. I was quite adept at it. And to my sister. She would believe anything. We convinced her once that we had shrinking shampoo and that her hair actually shrunk. Yeah. We were mean. But now I have lots of great stories. :D And she never believes anything we tell her anymore.

I've always known I needed to do something artistic to be happy. Something where there is a finished product that I can admire, even if no one else does.

Of all the things I've tried or thought about going back to school for (it's a very long list), this is the only thing I've followed through on.

Of course, it would be one of the things that may never make me any money. Oh well, at least it doesn't cost me anything to write. Some of my other projects were not so cheap. :)

Icy Roses said...

Compulsive liar, haha. The only habit I had as a kid that I remember is writing. I wrote all the time. Why? I don't know; I just did it. I don't even think I knew what publication was back then. I had a story in my head, so I put it down on paper.

I guess that makes me a writer.

Mandy said...

I think that being a liar means that you know how to employ a tall tale. You can be convincing in the telling. Otherwise you just look dumb ;) Same goes for writing. You HAVE to be able to tell a convincing tale. Period. You have to believe in the reality that you're spinning and commit to the idea that brandishing a magic wand will get results, or that a fairy could actually be living in your garden. I've been known to spin a yarn or two myself. Maybe not something I should be proud of.... but it doesn't hurt my writing ;)

Lazy Writer said...

I keep missing your posts because it's not updating in my dashboard. Urg! Anyway, I know the writing life is for me because I don't want to do anything else!

TereLiz said...

LOL, Becca, Mark Twain? I couldn't ask for better praise than that in my book!
Suzanne, I've done pretty much the same thing, ha!
Eric, talking to yourself is healthy. I tell myself that all the time. ;)
Abby, shrinking shampoo? Glad I wasn't your sister, lol. I hear you on the expensive hobbies. I collage now. It's cheap.
Icy, I know you're a writer because you can't keep from writing. Them's breaks. ;)
Mandy, you should see me play Balderdash!
Lazy Writer, I have dashboard problems sometimes, too. But it's your stick-to-it-tiveness that tells me you've got the chops to be an author!

Sorry I'm just now getting around to reading comments, but lately reading the blogs of other people has priority over reading my own.