Fits and Starts (or, My Writing Journey)
I’ve wanted to be a writer since the age of ten. That’s about how old I was when I decided to one day adopt the pen name “Kyle Hunter”, which is my first and middle name. It just stuck with me all those years (I won’t tell you how many.)
Though the name stayed with me consistently, other aspects of my writing dream did not. I wrote my first book at the age of 11, entitled “The Fabulous Adventures of Freddie and Herbie”. It was the story of a turtle and a frog, best friends, who constantly had adventures and got into trouble. My dear Mom typed it up for me and we sent it to 5 publishers. You can guess what happened. At age 11 I still had a ways to go on my writing journey.
But I kept writing. I ramped up the momentum in junior high school, when I wrote at least 3 more books (by hand, mind you), but these remained in a drawer. My last adolescent work went unfinished. Eleven chapters later, it too landed in the drawer.
In college the greatest tragedy occurred in my writing life: during a creative writing class that required critiques from fellow students, I mistakenly concluded that I shouldn’t be a writer, that I didn’t have what it took, after hearing some negative critiques. I didn’t know that was what a critique IS, both positive and negative feedback. I didn’t know that a writer grows into being a good writer. Not only does it take time, but every writer goes through this process.
So sadly, my dream went from the drawer to the far back burner for over 20 years, but the desire still hovered in the backstage of my mind. In the year 2000 I started writing about some of my experiences in France. Then my first real novel as an adult appeared (on my computer) in 2009, another in 2010, and another in 2011. I keep going, knowing that I’m not there yet, but if I persist, it will come. One day I’ll be published. Currently I’m working on novel #4, along with 2 non-fiction booklets I hope to self-publish.
I guess the moral of the story isn’t very original. Winston Churchill said it well: “Never, never, never, never give up.” I don’t plan to. In fact that’s the purpose of this blog, to share the ongoing journey with you. Not just the journey of writing, but the journey of life, since they are intertwined. And what better time to revive this blog than this new season in my life, as I jump from European life to Carolina life?
I guess another moral of the story should be, don’t despair if you gave something up for many years. It’s not too late to dig it out of the drawer. Some of my favorite authors started in their forties and fifties. You could say that each new day is a new chapter.
So whatever it is for you, close the drawer and get on with it!
May 8, 2014