Writing Like a Pro
I remember my Mom telling me at a young age that she thought I would wind up writing someday, and I never wanted to believe her. Instead, I would correct her: “No, I’m an actress, Ma.”
Despite myself, I always kept a journal. I always recorded my thoughts. Even when the badly misspelled, dyslexic words wobbled out of my pencil, I would draw my feelings, expressing them on the page with a pie chart and a whole bunch of pictures. When I wrote a particularly interesting journal entry, I would show the writing to everyone I could, beaming with pride at my creation:
“Well that is my story I have to go now Bi Bi.” (Natalie: age 8)
I remember my grandfather reading the note out loud emphasizing the misspelled: “Bi, Bi” (said as: Bee-Bee) and I realized with horror that that word was not spelled like it was pronounced. Oh No! I’m so stupid! See, Ma!? I’ll never be a good writer because good writers can spell monosyllabic farewells with ease! I’m an ACTRESS! Actresses don’t need to know anything!
The first full story I ever wrote was about a grain of sugar and how it broke free of its sugar pack and flew off into the world to experience life on its own. I even drew pictures to follow the story of the little grain of sugar. When I finished that book, I felt so accomplished! So high from a sense of achievement that I got really scared and decided to be an actor even more.
The second major story I wrote was about the “Jade Cat” that this female lead must find in order to figure out the mystery of her parent’s death. It was an action adventure novel based in the late 1800’s. I spent days writing that thing in long hand, carefully piecing out each detail. I got really bold when I took the handwriting process to a computer and began typing out the story on a key board (you know, back when typing for a 12 year old was key-by-key and took 12 hours to write a page?). I read and re-read that first chapter so much that I had it memorized and then recited it, (like a monologue, because I’m an ACTRESS OKAY!?) to family members. I never finished the novel, but I had written 50 pages and carried the pages around with me like a bible, peeking into my backpack and touching the edges of them like a newborn parent would a brand new baby.
It’s funny how Mom’s can really pin down a fact about their children, because, like, they know. Last night as I listened to the fire crackle and spit in the fireplace out in New Jersey, while reading Rachel Dratch’s “Girl Walks Into a Bar” I felt a kindred spirit with all the comedians I have read the last few months: Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Mike Birbiglia, etc. Reading each memoir and eating their experiences like candy I feel my own creative belly swell with a contentedness at knowing that my experiences are very similar to theirs. Hell, a story about a grain of sugar is a great start to burgeoning creative career. Although, writing a whole novel seems so daunting and fearless. Plus, these people are famous and have all sorts of fame stories to tell, and they can make fun of the really dumb actresses they’ve met. I’m not famous… yet.
Better get working on that, huh?
well that is my story I have to go now Bi Bi.
December 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm by Natalie Allen