8.25.2011

The Spark Blogfest: Who Set You Off? (Part Four)

This week I'm participating in Christine Tyler's blogfest and talking about who and what made me decide to be a writer.

 When I started writing seriously about a year and a half ago, I was reluctant to tell people what I was doing. I knew I wanted to be a published author, but I was afraid that if I told people, then I was setting myself up for failure. What if it didn't work out? What if I didn't have what it takes? So, I kept it to myself.

Secretly, I bought a book on writing by Gail Carson Levine called Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly. It was geared more toward kids, but something about her words bolstered me up and gave me confidence in myself. I liked that feeling, so I bought more of her books.

Here she is, by the way. Is she not the cutest EVER???


Later, while I was still keeping all writerly things secret and therefore suffering with my self-doubt all alone, I read one of Gail Carson Levine's novels, called The Two Princesses of Bamarre. I don't think I can explain exactly why this book touched me so deeply, I only know that it did. It's about a girl who has to find courage when she doesn't believe she has any, and the strength of sisters, and the importance of bravery when all hope seems lost. I read late into the night and finished with tears of bittersweet joy smeared all over the front of my shirt. (And then the adrenaline rush hit and I was bouncing around the house, but that's not important right now.)

From her books--all her books, but this one especially--I just felt right about writing. I felt like she was personally giving me permission to admit that this is what I wanted to do, and that I could do it in my own way, with my own voice, and that it would be great.

Gail Carson Levine will probably never know the impact she's had on me (unless some day I get the chance to meet her in real life and manage to say more than, "Uh...derr...I'm in love with your pretty books...") but she set off a spark that reminds me when I doubt that I can do it, that what I have to say can be meaningful and perfect to someone else.

So thank you, Gail Carson Levine! I think your books are pretty!

12 comments:

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Thanks for sharing, Jeigh. I must get my hands on Gail's books now. They look so fun!

The book that sparked my writing journey was julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY.

Mel Fowler said...

I LOVE Gail Carson Levine!!!

and funny thing I am reading her book Writing Magic too. I think that it's a great way for someone to learn the little things that make your stories great!

Juliemybird said...

I need to read WRITING MAGIC. That is all. :)

J said...

I started reading Ms. Levine's books after the Ella Enchanted movie came out. I can't see movies based on books without reading the original. She's amazing! I'll have to check out Writing Magic at some point. Hopefully you DO get a chance to meet her someday! :)

Laura Marcella said...

I love Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine! She has a wonderful blog where she posts every Wednesday: http://gailcarsonlevine.blogspot.com/

Crystal said...

Awww, she IS adorable! And I loved Writing Magic. Also, I was scrolling down and happened to notice you were a fan of the Corduroy books - I had a nostalgic moment right there. I LOVED that little teddy bear!

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm going to have to check her out now :)

Ruth Josse said...

Oh, love her books! Need to read Writing Magic though. I could use a little help as of late.

Angela Yurkio Smith said...

Sounds really are interesting... I'll have to look for her. Thanks for sharing ;D

Jillian said...

Inspiring post! I could definitely use some added confidence in sharing my writing goals too. I was lucky enough to pick up Writing Magic for free recently, and now I'm really excited to read it.

Christine Tyler said...

I've only ever read Ella Enchanted, but I loved it so much! I really need to check out her other books as well.

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Aw, I will have to read her work!