I first started writing when I was around 5. It was a requirement in Kindergarten for some reason. You would think with such an early start that I would be a well-established, well-known author by this point, but unfortunately my writing skills remained average for those first several….decades.
My creativity was kept locked up in my mind. My friends that kept me company as I did my work or took me on adventures before I fell asleep each night, were my little secret. Though I LOVED to read about other people’s imaginary friends, and dreamed of people reading about mine, I was pretty sure that writing a book was impossible unless you were someone rich or famous.
But when stories are a part of who you are, they have a way of wanting to come out, even if it seems impossible. In university, I finally started to write out some of the story ideas that floated around my head. I had no idea what I was doing and really didn’t accomplish much of anything, but what was important was …. I started!
Life went by and the stories were like distant cousins – family, but they only show up for special occasions.
Until one story, like a bossy distant uncle, sat down and demanded to be written. Forcing me to stay up writing till 2 AM, catch a few hours sleep then head off to work, only to come back and continue writing. In the space of about 2 weeks, I managed to write 50,000 words. The story burned to be told.
I gave my rough draft to my sister to read. I was so happy, I finally felt that I had accomplished something. Sure it needed SOME editing, but it pretty much was a book. A smaller book perhaps, but still a book. However, I missed a very, very, very vital part in writing a historical romance novel – RESEARCH!!!
Jump forward many years and that same story hardly resembles that original attempt, but those characters that invited me into their lives and gave me their secrets to tell are still there. The heart of the story remains, it’s just no longer a story that only a mother – a.k.a. the author – could love. These characters have been my friends for so long and I’m exited for you to finally meet them.
I love this quote from Erica Jong “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged”. If you are an aspiring writer, let me encourage you to finish – or even to start – that project that is on your heart. I don’t believe anyone is born a great writer, but those that are diligent to learn and to improve are the ones that can succeed.
My journey is still just beginning, but I hope you will come along with me as we enter this brave new world of publishing.