If You’d Told Me I was Going to be a Writer by guest author by Miriam Drori
Today I am delighted that my friend and fellow author, Miriam Drori has made time to join me and tell me about her lifelong writing journey. Thank you for sharing your experience, Miriam.
If you’d told me, when I was ten, that I was going to be a writer, I’d have laughed. That was when, in an English test, we had to write an essay called: My Home. I described the house that I lived in. Another girl’s essay was read aloud in the class. She’d written eloquently about her home, describing family members, relationships, atmosphere and so on. Clearly, I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.
If you’d told me, when I was fourteen, that I was going to be a writer, I’d have laughed. I enjoyed learning grammar, but I didn’t know how to write stories like some of my peers, and as for poetry…. They used to write poems that got published in the school magazine, poems I couldn’t even understand. Clearly, I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.
If you’d told me, when I was nineteen, that I was going to be a writer, I’d have laughed. I was studying Maths at university. That was hardly going to lead to a career as a writer.
If you’d told me, when I was twenty-two, that I was going to be a writer, I’d have laughed. True, I’d just corrected all my boss’s misspellings in a technical document, but that hardly qualified me to be a writer.
If you’d told me, when I was forty-five, that I was going to be a writer, I’d have said that’s what I am – a technical writer. If you’d then said I was going to write fiction, I’d have laughed. How could someone with no imagination write fiction?
What led me to creative writing was social anxiety. When I discovered I had it and then met many others, mostly online, who also had it, I began to realise how little known it was, despite being very common, and I determined to do all I could to raise awareness of social anxiety.
First, I wrote a non-fiction book all about social anxiety. My first encounter with the publishing world didn’t prove successful. Then I thought I might do better with a story. But how could I make up a story without an imagination? So I wrote a story based mostly on my experiences and partly on those of others. I hardly noticed that I’d created fictional characters for the story.
When I joined a writing group, I was advised to write new scenes. I’m not creative, I thought, but somehow I wrote them.
That book also failed to attract any interest. In the meantime, I did have success with short stories and eventually with two novels, published by Crooked Cat Books. And I got the idea of taking the characters of my first attempt at a novel and putting them in a new and exciting story, one that I made up rather than basing it on personal experiences. I’m still putting the final touches to that.
I suppose I’d always been a writer. But somewhere in that process I became a storyteller and an author. I discovered that I really did have an imagination.
I shouldn’t have laughed when I was ten, if you’d told me I was going to be a writer. I should have said, “Put me down a class.” Because I was always too young and too immature for the class I was in to be any good at a subject like English. If I’d been in the class below, I’d probably have fared better. And then I might have thought I was cut out to be a writer.
By the way, that non-fiction book on social anxiety, with some recent additions, was published by Crooked Cat Books in 2017. It covers all the different aspects of this… disorder/condition/what-have-you, and is intended for everyone – “sufferers” and non-“sufferers” alike.
Miriam Drori is the author of three very different published books:
- Neither Here Nor There, a romance with a difference
- The Women Friends: Selina, historical fiction based on the painting by Klimt, co-written with Emma Rose Millar
- Social Anxiety Revealed, non-fiction, a comprehensive account of social anxiety
She is working on a novel led by a character with social anxiety, and has plans for other novels.
When not writing, Miriam likes to read, dance, hike and travel. She has learnt that the unwanted and uninvited guest called Social Anxiety is here to stay, and has been making friends with it. The process involves willingness, concessions and compromise from both sides. Just saying.
In this video, she introduces her latest book, with the help of her “other half.”