I used to always complain, “I want to be a writer.”
There was just one problem. I didn’t write. I couldn’t plot to save my life, let alone type up something the length of a novel. That was impossible, and I didn’t want to waste my time dreaming big when I couldn’t even start small.
Yet I always had my father. I told him many times of my dream, and no doubt I will tell him many times in the future.
“Dad, I want to be a writer.”
Many times before, he hadn’t said much. He just assured me it was possible.
But if it were possible, why wasn’t I doing it? Why hadn’t I plotted out a wonderful story when I’d read of a girl who published a novel when she was just thirteen? Why couldn’t I type up more than two chapters without completely abandoning my projects? Why was I making absolutely zero progress?
This time was different. He didn’t assure me it was possible; he told me how to make it possible.
Those two simple words sparked the fire of inspiration inside me, even with the snow-covered winter world right outside my window. I didn’t know how to make that dream a reality. All I knew was that I had to try.
And so I searched the entirety of Tumblr, a blogging website, for ideas. I had to learn how to write. If I wanted to be a writer, I just had to write.
The question was – write what?
That’s when I found them – prompts. Some were just a sentence that had to be incorporated somewhere in my story. Others were pictures so unique that I could let my mind wander as I found a plot that only I could dream up.
I called the project “Write Every Day.” My self-imposed rule for this project was, of course, rather obvious. All I had to do was write every day. It didn’t matter if it was a few paragraphs or five pages. If I was writing, I was one step closer to achieving the dream I longed for.
The frozen, bitter winter, plagued by heartbreak, turned into a hope-filled spring. Spring turned into summer. All I was doing was prompts and, quite frankly, I was falling far behind.
But then I had a dream. Sure, it must be a bit cliché to get your best ideas from dreams, but that was how the next phase of my writing dreams began.
One night, I slept peacefully as I enjoyed my lazy, workless summer break. In the darkness of sleep, color and imagination took over. I can’t remember the dream very well now, but there were a few things I remembered.
First, I dreamed of climbing up a giant wall to save my dog. That was the part I remember least. It wasn’t important. It wasn’t inspiring. It was just weird.
The second part lit the fire of inspiration – true inspiration, the kind that leads you to challenge yourself and write novels. People in futuristic armor were fighting. I was one of them. Yet, we weren’t angry at each other. There was no war. We were simply training to the best of our ability. Training for what? I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it, but we were training.
And that training must have led to the third and final part of my dream. Normal people, the ones who had been in armor only moments before, gathered around a table in silence. The silence was only broken when a brunette man with glasses insisted that he had no desire to work with my group. We didn’t know enough. What we didn’t know, I couldn’t tell you either. But apparently it was big enough for him to outrage my group by leaving.
I woke the next morning and rushed to my computer. A story idea was pulling itself together. I had to write what I remembered while I still had a chance.
So I pulled up a word document – my “Write Every Day” project – and started writing. I wrote the two parts of my dream that I remembered, and I fleshed the dream out into scenes from a story that only I could have come up with. Ah, the beauties of creative and imaginative minds.
But, if I was to write a story, I couldn’t just write about nameless people. I needed a story, characters, a plot, a goal – and I was determined to find each and every one of those things.
The next few days were more productive than the weeks before and, quite likely, the weeks after. First, I came up with the vaguest semblance of a plot – Japanese teenagers dealing with friendship and a magical world – and fit characters into this plot. I came up with a total of 11 characters, named them, designed them and gave them life.
Then, once I had my plot more planned out, I opened a word document and began to write. The words flew off the page: chapter one, chapter two, chapter three and so on. Everything was coming together. My first big project was coming together.
Dad was only partly right. If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to start writing. But to start writing I needed something else – inspiration.