Monthly Archives: January 2016

Inspirational Writing Story

When I had finally hit rock bottom was when I realized I wanted to be a writer. Many people start writing, and the reasons they start are very different, I think. For me, I had decided to pick up writing one early morning, and by early I mean middle-of-the-night early, before I clicked the next episode on Netflix. I was sitting in the dark in my childhood bedroom, alone, a college dropout, living with my parents, jobless, and even though I was only nineteen, it felt like I had wasted away a perfectly good life.

I needed help. Right then and there, I decided to write a long essay summarizing the previous years that led up to that morning. But after I was done, I felt something that I hadn’t in a long time: hunger.

You see, I had written one chapter after another, unaware that night had given away to morning, and that morning had given away to afternoon. I was unaware of how tired I should’ve been, but I didn’t feel tired at all. I was starving, literally and metaphorically.

I broke away from my computer twenty document pages later, realizing I’d been starving myself of something for some time now. What was this feeling? I had not felt anything since the day I graduated high school. On graduation day, I drew with chalk a wild cat on the sidewalk leading into the school building. I’ll miss you, NU! I captioned it. That day, I coined the phrase ‘to make a difference, you have to be a little different’ as my Words of Wisdom. I’d worked so hard leading up to that day, to keep my grades up and graduate in the top percentile. But until this early morning, I had not logged one memorable accomplishment in the past long year.

I never came close to writing this much in one sitting before, however. This was an internal discovery.

At first, I didn’t think I was a writer. I was simply writing a stress-relieving prose to myself. It wasn’t good at all. I didn’t know what proper grammar was. My spelling was atrocious. I’d gotten through every language arts class by using of Sparknotes. And in the back of my mind, I was sure that none of the twenty pages I had conjured were coherent enough to follow, unless I was the one reading it. But at least this had given me an idea – a task – to finish the story. To edit the thing if only to improve it so someone else could read it and understand what I was going through.

The lingering hunger was real, though. I typed “how to write a book” in YouTube’s search engine and found lots of resources. Scrolling through grammar videos, I stumbled across publishing sites and critique circles. I kept my involvement on my first critique circle low-key, only leaving feedback on partial manuscripts and never submitting chapters of my own. Eventually, after learning what good and bad writing was and many revisions of my work later, I posted my essay to these same websites and got lots of criticism, occasionally feeling dumb for spelling something horrifically incorrect.

I was enthralled. Any feedback, good or bad, made me so much hungrier. I resubmitted works after works until, finally, I felt like I could do something with my twenty-page thing. Twenty pages turned into fifty. Fifty turned into a hundred.

A few months later, on 2014’s New Year’s Eve, I made a decision to start documenting my writing progress on YouTube, like so many before me had done. In my first vlog (video blog), I publicly announced that I was going to publish a book within the next year. On top of that, I was going to read more. I thought reading books would help me know what was worth publishing. I was going to start a written blog, too. I was even going to attempt something called NaNoWriMo. During National Novel Writing Month, I would have to write 50,000 words, 1,666 words each day for a month. I was going to wait until November, the normal time to do it, but that was almost a year away and so I jumped the gun, finishing a total of two or three seasons before May.

Somehow, I felt like I’d joined a bigger conversation that had been going on since the beginning of time. With these new skills, I connected with some amazing people, gained more than a thousand subscribers, guest-spoke on NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel, was featured on a podcast, annually read roughly twelve books, and most importantly I published my first of hopefully many books. Since that lonely morning three years ago, I can say that I’ve grown so much as an artist and as an individual. It never occurred to me that I’d one day be humbled by reading or writing.

And now with my full and purposeful life, I’m constantly craving for more, and I hope that hunger is never filled.

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Book Review: More Than This

More Than This

Read from January 08 to 19, 2016

Out of this book and A Monster Calls, I like this Patrick Ness book a lot more. I want to say that the majority of this book was a five star for me. There was just one chunk where I was not quite satisfied. I think, however, this is a fast read. Anyone trying to get out of a reading slump or find something that will keep the pages turning, this is a FAST READ. It didn’t even feel like 478 pages with all its short chapters. I need more of these since I have no time at all to read while in college.

I really don’t want to say anything about this book. I was told to “just read it” and I did and… I would say you should do the same. I’ll say that the narrative is totally refreshing and not like any other.

One more thing: I found a great little excerpt and would like to share it with you.

Page 53: “Well, he’s not that either. Not even in the way Americans go on about being Irish or Cherokee. Honestly, a whole population who refuse to call themselves after their own nation unless they’re feeling threatened.”

I give More Than This by Patrick Ness 4/5 stars. See grading system down below.

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Book Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
Read from December 28 to 31, 2015
So this book is somewhat predictable in a good way. No spoilers. I was sure that the actual monster was going to be a metaphor for something. And it was. Please don’t go into this book thinking the monster’s real. I’d call this a fictional contemporary.
I didn’t know this was written for children until after I read some of the other comments. At first I was put off by this, but now I can see why in some situations, this book might be a lot of help to some children.
SO I was going to mark the book as a 3.5 because the writing was kind of dumbed down. BUT I know now it was for kids, and as a kid, I think this book would’ve been interesting, more so than some children’s books I’ve read. BUT not the best. AND I was still confused at times about what the sentences meant.
I thought it was cool to find out someone else wrote the draft for this book and Patrick Ness was the one who finished it for them after they died. BONUS COOL FACT.
I rate A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness a 4/5. My grading system is down below.
  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime