Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guest Post - Writer Bonnee Crawford - Three Teachers Who Have Influenced My Writing

 Well folks, I would like to introduce you to Bonnee Crawford, who has graciously agreed to write a guest post for my nerdy writer's blog. And when you finish reading this, you'll be like, 'she's written HOW MUCH and she's only SEVENTEEN?'

I know. I wish I had a novel that size under my belt by the time I was seventeen. Not fair.

BIO: Bonnee is an aspiring author from Australia, close to completing her final year of high-school. She became a serious writer in 2008 and began a blog late last year where she documents her thoughts and experiences on writing. Bonnee enjoys the resourcefulness of the blogosphere when she should probably be doing homework or studying, but she likes to get the best of both worlds. With a short story already published to her name, Bonnee hopes to achieve much more in the years to come.

Three Teachers Who Have Influenced My Writing

Some writers are born writers, while others writers are made. Both are capable of becoming successful in the industry and making an impact on the world through their craft. Another thing all writers have in common is that we are all influenced in the way we write and what we write about by our experiences. People, events and our own personal findings affect the way in which a writer writes, and as long as we’re writing, we continue to reflect the things which influence us.

In 2006, the year I turned eleven, I started the year without a love for reading. I’d never liked reading as a child. But that year, I picked up a book which turned me around. I read Cornelia Funke’s book Dragon Rider long before I’d heard of her bestselling Inkworld Trilogy. In that year, I read Dragon Rider five times and found my love for reading, and my love for fantasy. Reading Dragon Rider and later Inkheart opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of the imagination and the world of fantasy, and I saw that those limitless creations could be put into words and shared. Two years later, when my love for writing was uncovered, I leaned towards writing fantasy.

For four consecutive years of my high-schooling, I had an English teacher who saw my potential and made a conscious effort to exercise my writing skills. Within the first year of being able to call Mrs Goulding my teacher, I had discovered my passion for writing the things that I created in my head. After seeing my new aspirations, she continued to push me. Over those four years, she offered me honest constructive criticism and strong encouragement when it was appropriate, and approached me time and time again with information on competitions and opportunities to excel myself. Currently in my final year of high-school, Mrs Goulding still finds me and asks, “How is your writing going?” The never-ending support she provides for me has kept me writing and convinced me not to stop, and without Mrs Goulding, I would not have discovered my love for the art in the first place.

I quickly started to write whenever I felt like it and I wrote whatever I wanted. In my third year of high-school, one of the teachers introduced a new programme to the school called the Journey Project, in which every student in the year-level created their own project and goal. I took this as an opportunity to write something bigger and better than any of the short stories I’d already produced. The hardest part was deciding which idea to turn into my first chapter-length novel. All I knew was that by the end of the year and the end of Journey Project, I wanted the first draft completed. 

I did it. 

Within nine months, and with one month to spare before the due date, I had written an 80,000-word first draft of Evergreen: A Fallen Star, which I am still working to perfect and make publishable today, three years on. Writing my first novel taught me that I was capable; something which had bothered me when I first thought of becoming a writer. Evergreen also taught me the value of planning both the story and the time I had to write it in, and taught me that taking a risk and just going with the crazy ideas welling up inside my head was okay. I had Mrs Goulding’s support the whole way through the first draft and the amazing work of Cornelia Funke sitting on my bookshelf to remind me of the possibilities.

Even after these three things had such a huge impact on my writing, other things have continued to influence me. It is a process which will repeat itself as I live and as I keep on writing. 

Taking note of the things which influence you as a writer helps you to develop even more, as it shows you where you came from. Whether you were a born writer or a made writer, you will be influenced by people, events and your own findings and your writing will be shaped by your experiences.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Bonnee, always interesting to see where people got their start and who influenced them the most.

    Nice blog, Joseph, I'll have to come back when I have more time and check it out in depth!