Hello everyone. My name is Brandon Talbot. Welcome to my "blog" on Vocal! I've been writing on Medium for a little while but have focused my efforts more on Vocal lately. This seems like a better place to interact with people who are passionate about writing and get more views on my posts. Writing doesn't do a lot for anyone unless people read it.
I'm looking to make writing a full-time gig and have had a rough go so far. I'm sure I'll have to do more than just write on Vocal but here is where I'm starting.
I’m a 39-year-old father of four who just started writing seriously about a year ago. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and to write things people love to read. I’ve always loved reading and authors always seemed like gods to me. They shaped my life, explained difficult facts of life to me, and lead me on journeys to faraway lands and long-ago times. Writing has always fascinated me because of its ability to get into your heart. To bring people into your mind and your world. To make the impossible, possible.
It took me until I was 38 years old to begin writing my novel because of a creative writing teacher in high school and my peers in that creative writing class. Nothing I did was good enough for that teacher and every time she criticized what seemed like every word of every paper I ever wrote, my classmates laughed at me. Literally laughed out loud. And the teacher didn’t put a stop to it. It seemed like she was doing everything possible not to laugh at me as well. I decided then and there that I was just not a writer and never would be. It took me 20 years after graduating high school to finally say, “to hell with the naysayers.” So I picked up a pen, figuratively, and began writing and I’m so grateful I did.
I finally started writing my first novel about a year ago and I’m 80,000 words into it at this point and it has been quite a ride! I thought about that novel and the story I wanted to write for several years. A couple of years before I got serious about it, I wrote down a couple of pages of complete nonsense that I hated so much I put it away and didn't even look at it. I also didn't tell anyone that I wanted to write a novel or that I had begun writing. The first attempt was so bad and so silly that I knew everyone would laugh at me if they read it. I kept toying around with the idea and finally hit upon something I thought might interest at least someone to read it. I shared it with my fiance and she encouraged me to write my story down.
When I started writing it was difficult to get any serious amount of content onto the page. I wrote my heart out for a couple of months and barely made 30 pages. I figured at that point that I would never have a novel's worth of material. I might be able to hit novella length but just barely. But I kept at it.
I began writing on the Notes app on my iPhone and iPad. That didn't last very long. I noticed some limitations in the Notes app pretty quickly and began looking for some good writing software. After doing some research I found Scrivener. I found out a lot of authors and full-time writers use it so I gave it a shot and I was not disappointed. It costs a little money but it's well worth it. I'm not advertising by any means. Just letting you know what I've been using to write my novel.
My novel has changed several times since I began writing it. I started out a pantser. I didn't outline or plan my novel at all. That got me to about 80,000 words. I felt my story wandering and not really going anywhere. I had to do a little planning to get myself back on track. I had to shave off about 15,000 words to get my story back on track. Now I'm at 65,000 words and developing the end of my novel a little at a time.
I still consider myself a pantser. I wrote a story yesterday for the Little Black Book challenge and it was 100% pansting. I didn't plan or outline at all. I'm proud of that little piece. It's difficult for me to write a fiction story with a limit of 2,000 words but I pulled it off. I had to write what I felt was a bare-bones story and then I had to shave more off to make the limit.
Anyway, back to my novel. Some days I love where my story is heading and feel confident about my writing. Other days I feel like an impostor trying to be a “real writer”. And sometimes I feel like I’ve written 65,000 words of pure garbage. But I keep pushing through thanks to the help of my wonderful fiancé. She’s been there through my journey and helped me up when I’ve fallen down. She's constantly encouraging me to continue writing on those days when I feel a tremendous amount of self-doubt.
So here we are, on a journey together. I'm just writing about whatever strikes my fancy on whatever day things come up whilst attempting to finish a really polished first draft of my novel. I write for myself because I have to but everything I write is for you, the reader.
If you all would like me to write about anything in particular, send me an email. I’d love some creative ideas from my readers about topics of interest. After all, I’m writing for you.
Also, I’d love to interact with anyone who takes the time to read my posts on Vocal. So if you’d just like to drop a line and say hello, feel free to email me. I’ll answer as many emails as I can.
My email is [email protected] I know, I know, it’s a little narcissistic. I hope you’ll forgive me.
And if I haven’t said it before, let me say it now. Thank you for reading! I'm grateful for every person who takes the time to read what I have to say. I'm nobody special and I don't have any particularly fantastic insights into life but I've been around. I've moved around the country since I was 17 and I've experienced quite a bit in that time.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my post!