"W" day in my series "26 Things that Made Me a Writer".
This might seem an obvious one for today, but the number one thing that made me a writer is writing.
A long time ago, I used to dabble in writing. I'd have the odd idea which I'd scribble down and shove somewhere, probably under the bed, without thinking it was very good. Then, about six weeks later, I would sit down and have a go at writing it, which took a phenomenal effort.
I never finished these stories. They tended to go round in circles, or I'd get stuck and walk away. I think my problem was that I expected everything to be perfect as soon as I put it down. My ideas weren't perfect, so I was reluctant to work on them, and then I didn't like what I wrote.
When I decided to take writing seriously I wrote a novel. I'd come to the conclusion that I couldn't nail short stories, and I wanted something that would demand a sustained effort. I think it paid off. I learnt to let go during that process, to an extent, and realise that getting anything down on paper was better than agonising.
Now, I feel like something approaching a proper writer. My relationship with a blank page used to be strained and awkward. I was embarrassed. I still feel like that a bit, especially on a bad day, but what's really helped me is rhythm and routine, as well as an emotional investment in my characters. I need to stick around to find out how things pan out for them.
Tell me a little bit about your writing journey.