Today I have the pleasure of the company of novelist, Tracey Alley, on my blog. Tracey is an amazing person - not just for her writing ability. She was born in Australia and has lived abroad for part of her life. One little known fact that I only discovered recently was that her grandfather owned a circus! So if you'd like to try an example of her musings...then read on. Thanks!
Ever since I pressed 'publish' on my first truly ready novel I've been asked this question numerous times. And, do you know what? I'm still not sure of the answer. Obviously I can speak only for myself and let you know things that other writers have said. It seems, however, almost universally agreed upon that the majority of writers are born that way.
I honestly cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't want to write or tell stories. They were just 'there' in my head. Call them imaginary friends or future characters but there are some 'people' I feel I've known all my life. Some of them have made it to paper, some are waiting their turn but all of them are in my head.
It's kind of funny that a writer's mind could easily be mistaken for a mental illness. I hear voices - that is to say I hear characters talking in my head. I know them as intimately as I know my own husband. I could tell you exactly what they looked like, what their family background was like, their hopes, fears and dreams - but none of them are 'real' until I finally pin them to paper.
Likewise I see 'visions' - that is that certain scenes play out in my head, I can see different characters interacting. I see their triumphs, their despair, I see their friendships and lovers. I see it all in my head and it doesn't go away until, again, I finally pin it to paper.
I'm sure by now you see what I mean when I say a writer's mind could be easily confused with the mentally ill. And maybe, in a way, it is an illness. I'll admit that there are times when it almost feels like a fever - if I don't write down the things I see and hear it will just nag at me until I do. I'm like an addict - I can't stop. Not that I'd actually wish for things to be any different. I love writing. I love being a writer and now, I love it even more because people are reading the things I write.
So I guess at the end of the day, the answer to the question of whether writer's are born or made is probably that they're born that way. I've read many interviews etc where other authors have spoken of their need to write, their characters taking over. All things I've said and felt myself. So, if you're out there and you feel a story inside you - let it out. You'll never get any peace until you do ;)
Tracey's books can be found on Amazon.com and on Amazon.co.uk