NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Can I Get a Testimony!
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Can I Get a Testimony!

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>
Author
Message
Tim G View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4066
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:41am
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

I am the opposite of a child prodigy success story. Basically.

Wrote (directed, casted, starred in) my first puppet show in grade 1. Wrote (directed, casted, starred in, had angry director meltdown in middle of performance) my first play in grade 3. Finished my first complete novel in grade 6. Teacher helped me pitch it to a small press by age 12, but they didn't believe I'd written it (as in, stole an adult's work). Wrote/drew my first comic at age 15. Started a blog at the same age that garnered a small fan base and friendships with a strange assortment of other writers, cam girls (back when that meant hosting a live feed [or multiple feeds] into your living room [or whole house] 24/7, the precursor to reality TV), artists, alt models, otaku, and musicians. Spent most of the school day throughout high school in the dark room (discovered passion for photojournalism alongside writing). Spent the rest of my time at my dance studio (competed nationally in ballet from age 4-17, taught the classes for ages 3-11 when I was 15) or writing. Wrote another novel as my senior project. Started journalism school at 17.

I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson. I wasn't.

Spent the next 10 years of my life running an artist's co-op with my best friend, which devolved into a band of nomadic drunks and scholars, which devolved into an incredibly toxic violent hurricane of awful. I somehow managed to keep the operation financially afloat almost single-handedly, through a decade stream of sh*t jobs, a few years in the Navy as an Arabic linguist and jet mechanic, engineering school, more sh*t jobs. This whole time I continued to read feverishly and write constantly in the margins of my life.

Eventually... it blew up. Bad sh*t happened. My husband and I cut ties with our mutual best friend and her boyfriend. Last summer, while pregnant with our 3rd kid and after serving tables over 60 hours a week for years, I finally got to quit my day job to stay home with the kids... and write. I was thrilled, but in insanely new territory. Writing didn't have to be in the margins anymore. Life had been shockingly peaceful and free of chaos and terror for a couple years. Now what? Where do I start?

I don't remember where or how I saw an ad or blurb for NYCM, but I did. And on a whim with my very last server tips, I threw $40 down on FFC 2018, pregnant and thoroughly struggling to adapt but desperate to finally live like a real writer in some fashion.

It has changed everything for me. I am not making a living as a writer yet, but there is hope. And momentum. And I finally feel okay about being 34 and unpublished after years of thinking I had to be a teenaged prodigy or bust.

Sorry so long-winded. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.

If you don't write your life story, I will.
CH2 Short Story: The Sound Of Progress (Mystery)
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
fioOxf View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2018
Location: Oxford, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 949
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote fioOxf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:55am
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

I am the opposite of a child prodigy success story. Basically.

Wrote (directed, casted, starred in) my first puppet show in grade 1. Wrote (directed, casted, starred in, had angry director meltdown in middle of performance) my first play in grade 3. Finished my first complete novel in grade 6. Teacher helped me pitch it to a small press by age 12, but they didn't believe I'd written it (as in, stole an adult's work). Wrote/drew my first comic at age 15. Started a blog at the same age that garnered a small fan base and friendships with a strange assortment of other writers, cam girls (back when that meant hosting a live feed [or multiple feeds] into your living room [or whole house] 24/7, the precursor to reality TV), artists, alt models, otaku, and musicians. Spent most of the school day throughout high school in the dark room (discovered passion for photojournalism alongside writing). Spent the rest of my time at my dance studio (competed nationally in ballet from age 4-17, taught the classes for ages 3-11 when I was 15) or writing. Wrote another novel as my senior project. Started journalism school at 17.

I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson. I wasn't.

Spent the next 10 years of my life running an artist's co-op with my best friend, which devolved into a band of nomadic drunks and scholars, which devolved into an incredibly toxic violent hurricane of awful. I somehow managed to keep the operation financially afloat almost single-handedly, through a decade stream of sh*t jobs, a few years in the Navy as an Arabic linguist and jet mechanic, engineering school, more sh*t jobs. This whole time I continued to read feverishly and write constantly in the margins of my life.

Eventually... it blew up. Bad sh*t happened. My husband and I cut ties with our mutual best friend and her boyfriend. Last summer, while pregnant with our 3rd kid and after serving tables over 60 hours a week for years, I finally got to quit my day job to stay home with the kids... and write. I was thrilled, but in insanely new territory. Writing didn't have to be in the margins anymore. Life had been shockingly peaceful and free of chaos and terror for a couple years. Now what? Where do I start?

I don't remember where or how I saw an ad or blurb for NYCM, but I did. And on a whim with my very last server tips, I threw $40 down on FFC 2018, pregnant and thoroughly struggling to adapt but desperate to finally live like a real writer in some fashion.

It has changed everything for me. I am not making a living as a writer yet, but there is hope. And momentum. And I finally feel okay about being 34 and unpublished after years of thinking I had to be a teenaged prodigy or bust.

Sorry so long-winded. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.

If you don't write your life story, I will.

It better bl*ody well rhyme.

SSC-2019 G82 By Brighton Beach (Ghost story)
Back to Top
bleustick View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 07 Jun 2018
Location: Indiana
Status: Offline
Points: 1412
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bleustick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 7:54am
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.
FFC 1: No Room For Flowers * 2: Flowers Grew Through Them * 3: Just Us Flower Eaters * 4: Nothing But Flowers
SSC 1: Perfect Little Squares
Back to Top
beckyrcollins View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2018
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 969
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote beckyrcollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 8:14am
Love this.

I've always been drawn to writing -- but I've also been drawn to hundreds of things. Acting. Presenting. Drawing. Stage management. So many things. 

I'm still trying to find my style, genre -- hell, even format. I'm constantly split between whether I'm a screenwriter, novel writer, copywriter, etc. Currently I'm compiling a Novella-in-Flash. Why? Who knows. 

But this comp is an incredible chance to try different things, see other posters' own masterful attempts, receive awesome feedback and generally absorb as much as I can in the hope of finding my 'one' style. The odds ain't great but I'm having fun and (hopefully) improving skills. From HMing in 1st comp to getting to the final round in 2nd, so far so good.

Obvs I'm not in the Short Story comp, but that was just a timing thing. I'm still here!!! 

xxx
SSC CH3 Ammunition (Sci-Fi)
FF CH4 The Monitor (spy/thriller)
Back to Top
Tim G View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4066
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 8:29am
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.

Not enough rhymes with Bleustick :)
CH2 Short Story: The Sound Of Progress (Mystery)
Back to Top
Lookit There View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 20 Feb 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Points: 2686
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lookit There Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 9:41am
Being active in the FF competitions has made me a better writer, not a doubt in my mind. I still tend to "over write" and have to slash great gobs of words, but it's also taught me to write leaner prose (just a little, still want to add five words where one will do). I've been slowly going through my gathering-dust novel and finding it's possible to take out a LOT of excess words.
I've gained confidence in my writing agenda, which is to represent gay men in fiction - no matter the genre. This is not uncommon now, but I enjoy writing stories that *feature* gay men but aren't only *about* being gay. I write the stories I never had while growing up. The first "gay book" I was ever aware of was Laura Z. Hobson's (very tame) "Consenting Adult," which was released when I was 14, and which I purchased from The Literary Guild (remember them?!), and read in the closet. No, literally: I hid it in my closet, and would sneak in and read it a few pages at a time.
Most importantly, I feel like I've made a lot of friends here, several of whom I communicate with even outside these forums. That's the real blessing.


Edited by Lookit There - 08 Feb 2019 at 9:46am
Back to Top
stephenmatlock View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 05 Sep 2013
Location: Seattle
Status: Online
Points: 6344
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:11am
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

Last time I piped up in a thread like this, I was dismantled for my writing past. But I have a feeling that won't happen this time around.

I was an artist first, before my creativity switched on me in college, or, while taking a break for a semester sophomore year. This is when I accidentally discovered fanfiction was a thing, and it seemed like the perfect way to try my hand at the writing thing. I've been an active fanfiction writer with a decent following for about 13 years now. No ships, no alternate universes, no squicky indulgences - just stories that are as canon and true to the characters and storylines provided as I can while learning who I am as a writer. Since I was 21, I've written nine novel-length fics, and roughly 150 shorter pieces. Of course, those are posted to more of the "loved it!" feedback that is a great ego-stroke, but never really helped to improve. It was just practice.

I saw an ad for SSC last winter, and entered on a whim. Sort of a "well, if I'm serious about being a writer, I better start seeing what I can do with some original work." See if I can DO THIS. And I did pretty well, first place in round one, third in round two, and made it to the finals. So then I was addicted, and hopped into the FFC the first day I could sign up. Finished fourth, then first, and finally ousted with a HM in the third round this year. Now I'm feeling pretty good about my writing, AND I have SEVEN original short stories that I didn't have a year ago, all with PAGES of good feedback from this forum. Just struggling to collect the nerve to work toward trying to get some things published.

This has been a wonderful community and experience, and I feel like I've already grown so much as a writer over the past 14ish months. The confidence gained through these comps and the FEEDBACK from this forum also helped me pound out a ROUGH first draft for the first book of my planned three-book fantasy series during NaNoWriMo in November.

EDIT: I came back today to add - for every round of comp here, I have written for ME. I've read some debate in the forum, about whether you should write for you, or write to impress the judges. I vote write for you. It's served me well so far. And I can stand behind everything I've written.



Great response! I always write for myself. I hope I write responsively to the prompts, but sometimes the story goes where it's gonna go.
2019 SWCR1 NO SPARROW FALLS UNSEEN 4/20/19
2019 SSCR2 ICE CAPADES
Back to Top
stephenmatlock View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 05 Sep 2013
Location: Seattle
Status: Online
Points: 6344
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:14am
Originally posted by Lucie-Bee Lucie-Bee wrote:

Thanks for this, Stephen. This is what I value most: the sense of community, collaboration and support that this forum offers. It’s quite overwhelming.

I have been writing for most of my life... for myself. My childhood dream was to write like Enid Blyton when I grew up! Life presented many forks in the road, as it does for everyone, and after many zigs and zags, I found myself many (many) decades later wondering if it was too late. 

My best friend (aka my husband) asked me a simple, timeless question just after midnight on NYE last year, “If not now, when?” His question was prompted by my comment about entering this writing contest. So, inspired by his words, I bit the bullet last year and entered the SSC. Somehow I managed to get an HM in round 1, which absolutely blew my mind. That acknowledgment/recognition buoyed me up for months, no — who am I kidding? — it still is! It gave me enough confidence to dust off some old manuscripts and dedicate some time to writing again. 

At the top I said that the most valuable aspect of this competition IMO is the forum. I’ve heard folks mention that the peer reviews can offer far better insight than the feedback from the judges. I agree. I respect and take to heart the insights offered by fellow writers, folks who are generous enough to take the time to read my stories and comment on them. And I believe it is a privilege to read the work of others; there are stories here that we might otherwise never have access to — it’s like our own private library. A library where we can explore the writing process, marvel at the prompt interpretations and relish the myriad of styles that exist here. Some of us may never be officially “published”, but right here in this private space, we are being read by someone. Our stories live here. That’s special.

I feel fortunate to be a part of this community. I’m still learning how to participate, I’m still timid about offering critiques, but I’m finding my way. More than anything, I’m grateful for what I’m learning here and for the impact it has had on my writing, and on me.

Testify! 



It's kinda addicting, isn't it?

I'm glad you're here and that we're writing.
2019 SWCR1 NO SPARROW FALLS UNSEEN 4/20/19
2019 SSCR2 ICE CAPADES
Back to Top
Eggcorn View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 14 Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore
Status: Offline
Points: 1531
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Eggcorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:17am
I love reading how this contest has effected everyone.
NYC will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.

I've been writing all my life. As someone earlier said, that doens't mean I was good, it was just what I did. I loved reading and I loved hearing stories and telling stories and escaping through stories. Writing is just what I do. I was the girl at the big family parties hiding in the corner with a book or a notebook or both.

I did the young author contests at school and remember being so upset that the winning book was a plagiarism of a Bernstein Bears book I had read earlier that year. (It was a local school contest, so I guess, I don't know the judges didn't know that...??) But anyway, despite this most obvious of hobbies, it took me a long time to truly own writing or being a writer as something that was me or something that I could do even semi professionally.

But ultimately I ended up minoring in Creative Writing with a hopes to go into Advertising. My first advertising professor was so NEGATIVE about everything though, I switched to TV & Radio, and then eventually to English and then when I learned about MFAs and how they were just like, 3 years of writing. I was like yes that's for me!

However as soon as my MFA was over, I didn't really know what to do with myself. I had started adjunct teaching and I LOVED it, but it was also a huge time suck and I didn't write. I just didn't.

Except for NYC. I can't even remember how I found it.
But doing NYC over the years and always ensured I got something written each year, and it gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful writers and people. Just, really wonderful people.

I can absolutely say I would not be as confident in my writing or writing goals (and believe I still suffer imposter syndrome and doubts etc) nor would I have the publications that I do (they're not fancy but still) if I did not enter this contest and meet the people I did.

For all my schooling, which I guess really mostly taught me professionalism and allowed me to get a teaching job -- working regularly with other writers, reading and editing their work and getting feedback on mine, hearing about different things they have read or tried... that's what keeps me going as a writer. That's what makes me grow, become better, set higher goals, try new things, and finally accept and love this side of myself.

And I would not have found that without the NYC forum.

I'm not on the forum as much these past few years, but that is largely because I've made so many friends from the forums that I end up turning to them first for writing advice and needs etc in pms and other messaging services, so I don't get back to the actual forum as much as I should.

I'm going to try to make a point to change that. I owe so much to this place.

Back to Top
Alex Grey View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2019
Location: UK
Status: Online
Points: 674
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Alex Grey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:42am
Apologies and thank you! :-D

The Gushings of a sleep-deprived newbie

I didn’t want to enter,

I thought it was a scam.

I thought they’d steal my entry fee

And then go on the lam

 

I did a bit of research

I couldn’t let it go

I found it was the real thing

It was time to join the show!

 

My genre was a mystery

In every possible sense

The plot got complicated

The word count rather dense

 

But there’s nothing like a deadline

To sharpen up the mind

My pen wrote out the story

But I had to be unkind

 

Many words were murdered

And lay discarded on the floor

I’m sorry cast-off plot lines

There was no room for more

 

I’ve submitted my short story

It’s in the judges’ hands

But then I found the forum

And now I understand

 

The value of this contest

Is not the winning prize

It’s the wisdom and the banter

Of sharing with you guys

 

I’m so glad that I entered

My life will never be the same

I've unearthed a novel's bones

I feel I’ve already won the game!


Thank you everyone - it's been a blast (so far.....)

NON-COMPThe Hunted
1st Round Spider Silk HM
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.