Monday, 25 May 2015

Me, myself and I - my addiction to writing revealed

Linzé Brandon, author fantasy, adult fiction
Linzé Brandon
I am participating in the Writing Contest: How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life. Hosted by Positive Writer

Writing often feels the same as getting those unwanted hair waxed, it hurts. Especially that first time. The pain is excruciating, and makes you wonder what the hell made you do it in the first place. Then you go back for the second time. It still hurts, but by now you expect the pain and yet you go back for the third, fourth and fifth time. By then the pain is not so bad anymore and you are fast becoming friends with your beauty therapist.
This is exactly what happened to me. I am talking about writing, the waxing part came later.
Fifteen years ago I wrote my first story. It was not great, but I finished it. Then I wrote another one and another. And by the end of the second year I had my first novel on my desk. I had no idea what to do next, except to keep writing. I tried my hand at the traditional publishing option, but the inevitable rejection followed.
If this sounded like the best time to give up, I probably would have, but by then I was hooked on the pain. Every excruciating word. I had to write. I. Had. To. Write. And I have not stopped since that fateful day in 2001.
Did I want to be writer growing up? The thought never even crossed my mind that I could become a writer. No one in my family has any job outside the usual doctor, lawyer and teacher options. Yeah, then I decided to study engineering. Not a writer, but definitely a first for the family. I started a trend. Every single cousin younger than I, barring two, went on to study engineering. Including my own brother. Some of them, like I, also married engineers. Must be that thing engineers are so good at that clinched it for me. (No, it's not the numbers) That alone should have told me that something was brewing. I loved being an engineer, then I became a specialist and added a second speciality. I went on to study for a masters degree in engineering management, not because I wanted to be a manager, but I wanted to start my own business. It finally hit me: I wanted to be my own boss.
Sometimes even us brainy types can be a bit slow when it comes to life decisions. I wanted to be my own boss. Fancy that. And I was my own boss for ten years. It was then that I started writing.
When self publishing became more widely accepted, I jumped on the bandwagon and got my first novel published, twelve years after I wrote it. What a high! It is that same feeling you get when smoothing your hand over that waxed skin, so soft and smooth. Skin unlike anything you have touched before. Worth the pain? Every time!
Twelve published fictional titles to my name - one more novel this year and two non-fiction books also in the making. My pain has become my addiction, my stress relief from the daily grind, my happy hour every day. And I write every day. Fiction, freelance articles, blog posts like this one, a book review or a technical article. Weekdays and weekends. At a cool word count of over one and a half million fictional words already behind me, I still get a delicious thrill when I get to that point in a story where I can type, the end.
Seeing my name in print...indescribable joy.

Do I want to be a writer when I grow up? Yes, please!

Can you live without your passion?