Thursday, July 12, 2012

I am a #Writer ~ A Poetic Soul ~ I am a Dreamer #writing #inspiration

(Image from MorgueFile photographer Darren Hester)

I am a writer- a poetic soul- I am a dreamer-

I've known I wanted to be a writer from around the time I was 10 or 11 years old, playing with an old upright Royal typewriter in our basement on hot summer afternoons pretending to work for a newspaper as a reporter, or handwriting my "high-school-sweethearts-happily-ever-afters" and illustrating them in pencil and crayon or colored pencils. My neighborhood friends can attest to this, but the proof was destroyed years ago, so you will never see them! Haha!

I wrote a lot of angsty (horribly embarrassing) poetry in my teens- yeah, that's still around but you'd have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers. I stayed up late on weekends, scribbling short stories and the beginnings of YA novels in those Lisa Frank rainbow-colored-LSD-trip notebooks on pastel pink and blue colored pages until my parents got me a Smith Corona typewriter/word processor and 3 1/2 inch floppies for Christmas the year I was 17. That was also the year they gave me "The Romance Writer's Pink Pages" and a package of paper and a good long talk from my logical dad about how "hard" it is to be a writer, that I might not ever be able to do it for a living without a back up plan and a regular day job, that not everyone can break into the business, just like artists and's lofty and inspiring, but not always practical.

I continued writing, but never finished anything. A lot of spitting and spluttering. I got older, got a job rather than going to college and had very little time for writing any more. Ah, Life...

Around 21 I started writing a more serious novel, one I consider to be a work of women's fiction after some very personal issues I was dealing with, but the story became hard to write, emotionally- the relationship I was in was failing and though I started taking a writing workshop, I just grew more and more frustrated with my instructor's guidance. I wasn't mature enough to handle criticism, constructive or otherwise. Add to that, I had a fiance who didn't believe in me or my dreams of becoming a writer. The relationship ended after much fighting and arguing and back and forth of "I want you, but I don't know what I want" and "I love you, but I can't love you if you don't have a job." (His wishy-washy, not mine) That is one for the record books of unsolved mysteries...I STILL don't understand it, but I'm okay with how it all turned out or I wouldn't be where I am today.

I tucked away my writing, deeming myself unworthy, incapable, etc. All the self-pity I could wallow in. I wrote angsty twenty-somethings poetry and decided that maybe writing and publication weren't my dreams to chase after all. I did have a few who encouraged me along the way, but most of what I wrote was still poetry, still not quite believing in myself enough.

Fast forward almost a decade, I'd been married 4 years, had a school-age stepson, a young daughter and I was a housewife who hit a very low spot. Writing kept egging me from the corners of my life, reminding me that it was also something I wanted to go with the husband, the family, the life. I couldn't get away from it. It taunted me as I settled in to go to sleep at night- "You NEED to be writing and have something just for you."

I'd never really told my husband how much I wanted to be a writer, so for a while, he looked at me like I was just trying to find a hobby to bide my time as a stay at home mom and wife. He didn't take it seriously, but I started coming back out of my shell, started to think that maybe all the stories in my head needed to be out on the pages. I began to write again, but more seriously than I ever had and the best part- it boosted my self-confidence- but so did the encouragement from my mom(who had always encouraged me to get back to it because she said I had a way with words)- from friends, from fellow writers I was meeting online.

I finally finished that one story- the one that was emotionally hard on me- I finished it in August 2006. Then I discovered NaNo in October and did my first one that November with only my mom and a friend encouraging me to do it- to see if I could write a novel in 30 days~ after all, it had taken me a decade from start to finish on the first one~ I needed to prove to no one but myself that I had more in me and could write it in less time.

And I did it. I penned and finished my 2nd manuscript, then followed that with two more the following year, and 5 the next. Then I hit a slow down- I burnt out, but I still wrote one for NaNo '09 and the most recent one- the 11th one I've written, was a NaNo '10 that I finally finished last month. Now #12 is looming on the horizon, and I know I have more than that hidden inside, bubbling to the surface a few ideas at a time.

As a writer, a poetic soul and a dreamer, I'll never let someone steal it out from under me again. That's just NOT going to happen.

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