I started writing stories when I was still in elementary school. At first I was shy about sharing them but by the time I reached Junior High School I’d gotten over my uncertainty. Suddenly my friends were asking me to write stories about them, usually romantic stories about boys or singers they liked. By the time I was in high school I was writing poetry for my friends as well. I wanted to be a writer someday. But life got in the way. Although I continued to write and journal most of my time was spent being a wife and mother.
After my divorce I went back to school. I had children to support so I had to work as well. Life was still getting in the way. I developed my short story writing skills. I’d challenge myself to write on a specific subject with a limited amount of words. There were times I considered entering contests or submitting my stories for publication in magazines. Somehow I never got around to it. I had ideas for novels I wanted to write and filed them under “to do someday”.
In 2001, almost fourteen years ago, my career took a leap and I found myself dedicating myself to a job I loved. I worked assisting people, mostly women, on welfare to become independent. Facilitating workshops on a variety of job skills I encouraged, educated, and motivated people to aim for a better life and to fulfill their dreams. Meanwhile I had pushed my dream to the back burner.
The winter of 2013 brought a big change to my life. I had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986 and in spite of that had worked and gone to school full time. But by 2013 I was worn out. I’d remarried in 2002 and my husband is also a writer. Like me he had stories in his head that were demanding to be written. Also like me he had put his dreams aside to live the conventional life. During our marriage he completed a novel he’d had in his head for years and it was published. I was both proud of him and more than a little envious. It still took me two years to realize I needed to take action on doing what I wanted to do, write a book.
Retiring from the work world I dedicated myself to writing. Less than a year later I had completed and published my first novel, “View from the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale”. There is no feeling like seeing your name on the cover of a book, your words filling the pages, and reading the reviews both good and bad. I am now almost finished with my second book, “Riddle”, and hope to have it published by the summer of 2015. I also have the beginnings of another book saved to my computer. I don’t expect to become wealthy writing books and blogging. But I feel a sense of accomplishment. I have finally fulfilled a dream that was about fifty years in the making.
If I had to give advice to any novice writers or people considering writing I would say this: just do it! There is always time to write down a few ideas, a couple of paragraphs, a page or two. Even if it takes several years to finish, you can only get to the end if you have a beginning. So instead of sitting there and reading this, thinking you wish you could do this, get up and start writing. There are people out here who can’t wait to read your words.