Writing is a scary business, isn’t it?
In fact, the only thing scarier than the act of writing is sharing what you write. For me, this often feels akin to jumping into freezing, open water. The sharks are circling and they’re hungry.
I grew up loving movies and books. Actually, I’ll admit right here that reading and binge watching my favorite films saved me. Hawkeye from The Last of the Mohicans and Mufasa from The Lion King were my pals. They taught me that there was a great, big world out there… And the best part? I could seize it. I just had to be brave. I was surrounded by people resigned to a life of reality, but that never suited me. Instead, I wanted to exist chiefly away from reality. I imagined ghosts in my closet and princesses in faraway lands. I dreamed of long, arduous journeys through deserts and caves. I wanted to befriend elves and marry Humphrey Bogart.
In short, I lived in my head. I lived for imagination. I formed a very serious bond with Walt Disney (unbeknownst to him) and have promised since to never, ever grow up.
That sense of childlike wonder did not go away. When it came time to go to college, I chose a useless major: Film. People poked fun at my choice but, to me, it was the only choice. My head yelled at me for being an idiot, but my heart was happy.
Deep down I knew that I cared about writing and film more than anyone in my life (now I smugly think I care more than anyone in the world, too. Some of you might challenge me on this, but I’ve never lost a game of Pass the Popcorn, okay?). If I didn’t honor that love, it would have felt like a cheat. One of the worst arguments I ever had in my life was with a friend who asked, “Why do you get so worked up? It’s just a movie.”
Just? A movie was never “just a movie” to me. It was art. It was truth. It was life–and I wanted to spend my own existence dedicated to that exploration, that lifelong pursuit of trying to figure out what it means to be human.
I was always particularly fascinated by the writing in movies. The characters, the dialogue, their actions, their struggles, their stories. I wanted to be the storyteller. I wanted to open a blank notebook or stare at a blank Word document and create something from nothing. I wanted to gasp that first breath of life. So, what was there to do other than become a Screenwriter?
After earning my BA in Film Screenwriting, I spent a couple years in the freelance writing world. This actually led to some amazing projects and connections, even landing me a Script Doctor position with a talented and thoughtful nonprofit organization.
Somehow, I still felt a bit restless. I got the sense there was more I could do and definitely more I could learn.
Fast forward a year. I left my comfortable home in Jacksonville, Florida and moved to Ireland to earn my MA in Creative Writing. It was a total turn-my-life-upside-down-and-risk-it-all kind of move…
I spent all my money. I gave up the palm trees and the sunny, sandy beach life. But, between you and me, it was worth it.
Film will always be my first love, but over the years I found myself drawn to poetry, novels and short stories, and even writing for theater. This year has been spent immersing myself in the simple joy of writing. No concentrations. No restrictions. I’m just writing anything and everything I wish to write. I’m learning how to be a better writer and dabble in everything. Seriously, I want to do it all. I want to get dirty. The only condition is that I tell the stories I need to tell.
But back to being terrified of sharing my work. That will always be the case. I am probably one of the most neurotic and sensitive people on planet Earth. However, if I know myself at all, I also know that I write to try and help others. Words from my favorite books and movies rescued me, so if I can contribute a book or movie or script or story or phrase or even a word that inspires someone and makes life a little easier, then I’ve done my job. While this year is devoted to improving as a writer, it is also the year of getting my work out there. It is the year of marching into the dark unknown. It is the year of staring at scary critics as they tell me what I did wrong. It is the year of reading and writing continuously, dangerously, and passionately.
This blog will serve as a portfolio of my work. I promise to post stories, excerpts, frazzled thoughts, and inspirations in a timely manner.
You, dear reader, are more than welcome to follow along. You can bet on insane ramblings and stories of islands; you can bet on creepy echoes from empty houses and loving odes to nature. You can even bet on death literally knocking on an old woman’s door. I promise.
My name is Nora and I’m trying my best contribute my verse.