Today, Tiffany Pitts, author of Double Blind, is stopping by to tell us about how she became a writer. Take it away Tiffany.
Lots of writers I know tell me about how they were born a writer. They’ve known all their lives they wanted to be a writer. In grade school they wrote plays about getting lost in the zoo and all the animals teamed up to help them get home. In high school they wrote the great American Teenage Angst novel or Sci-fi dramas that had absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars even though the main characters were named Don Rolo and Mewchacca or whatever.
I’d like to say I did these things too but I can’t. I can’t because I was not born a writer.
I was born a scientist.
I’ve always loved science. I pretended to do every science I knew about. I stared at the stars (Astronomy) and collected ditch water (Biology) and sticks (Botany). I then poked things with the sticks (Psychology) and forgot about the ditchwater until it started growing things (Mycology). I liked looking under rocks (Archeology, occasionally Zoology). On a nice sunny day, I could fit four scientific disciplines into one well-made mud pie (Physics, Chemistry, Entomology, Civil Engineering).
What I didn’t like was writing. I avoided it every chance I got. In high school my strategy for getting through English class was to become the photo editor of the newspaper. If you worked on the newspaper you got English credit but as photo-editor all I had to do was take pictures. Consequently, the only things I remember from English class are the smell of photo developer and Mrs. Ceteznik reading us Dave Barry articles every Friday.
I often noted this in my journal. You know, the one I keep to write down all the important stuff—like how the gravel in the driveway looked all wavy in the morning or how the ducks on the lack were especially quacky when I walked past– stuff like that.
I never considered my journal entries writing because A) I was a scientist and good scientists have to keep notes and B) anyone can journal, all you have to do is write down the words in your head as they come to you. My journal was filled with of 150 words or less and read like Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut got together and tried to out-angram each other. Lots of run-on sentences and streams of metaphorical consciousness. Sometimes there were diagrams.
But writing a story? I could never do that. That was intimidating. That was Writing for Real. Whenever I sat down to Write for Real, it took me hours just to get a few words down in the right order. Even then I could never say exactly what I wanted to say so why bother?
What an entitled little shit I was. Honestly, I am surprised I didn’t get smacked upside the head more often.
As much as I hated the idea of writing, I never stopped ‘journaling’. And when the internet became a thing I started an on-line journal where I could write in the afternoons when I was bored at work. I told people about it but I didn’t care if they read it. Occasionally people would. Some of them even enjoyed it. That always confused me.
Then one day I read a book that changed my attitude on writing. I’m sure you’ve read or at least heard about this book so I won’t bore you with details. Let’s just say that it wasn’t very well written and it sold fourteen bajillion copies. Even though it became the laughing stock of half the literary world, I read the whole damn thing.
Why would I do that? The story line was ridiculous. The characters were flat. I was so irritated at the choices they made within the story that I got drunk and wrote snotty comments all over the margins. And yet I read that story like it was going to disappear if I closed my eyes. How did she do that? Because I wanted to do that too.
That’s when I finally realized what a complete idiot I am. All my life I thought I hated writing but I didn’t hate writing, I hated being bad at writing. I hated that the words wouldn’t come out perfect the first time. I resented my lack of clarity and linear thinking. I wanted to be writer I just didn’t know how.
Thank goodness I figured that out! Soon journaling became writing and writing became practice and practice got better. The words don’t come any easier now than they did then but I’ve learned more things now. I know how to be patient now. I listen to my inner editor but she doesn’t get to run the show. I let myself write crap because it’s easier just to get it out than fight it. And at the end of the day, I may only have three usable paragraphs but I wrote them and I like what I wrote. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
By Tiffany Pitts
Genre: Adult Fiction, Humor
Delilah Pelham’s brother, Paul, is missing. She should probably be worried about that but honestly, he’s been in trouble since the day he learned the words “trust me.” In fact, if it weren’t for his roommate, Carl, she would gladly leave him to his fate.
Carl is a good guy, even if he’s a bit of a dork. Okay, a large slice of a dork. Possibly the entire cake.
But he wants to help, as do his gamer friends, which is how Deli finds herself in the middle of Hong Kong with the King of the Dorks, running from creepy guys with slicked-back hair and shiny black guns.
Back at home, Carl’s friends aren’t faring nearly as well. All they had to do was monitor the situation and feed Deli’s cat while she was gone. How could that possibly end in bloodshed?
There is an answer, of course, but no one ever thinks to ask the cat.
Tiffany grew up in the Seattle area in a time when the Super Sonics were huge and Starbucks was just a store at the end of the Market. Tragedy struck early in her life as her family moved to New Jersey mere months before Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album hit record stores. It took nearly a decade to wean herself off the hairspray. But Seattle called her back, so she went; eventually earning a degree in Botany (pronounced “Bar tending”) at the University of Washington.
She made one more valiant attempt to leave the PNW after college by travelling around the country doing not much of value and making very stupid decisions. She is thankful every day that the internet was not a huge deal in those years. Then Seattle called again so she picked up and moved home where she spent many years being a scientist of middling talent in several labs that she absolutely did not blow up—except for that one time and everyone agreed not to talk about that any more.
Now she divides her time between writing fiction and raising two kids who are wonderful but, for some reason, won’t stop licking things.
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Facebook page name is Tiffany Pitts, Author. Link is: https://www.facebook.com/tiffanypittsauthor