Sorry for missing my Wednesday post, but I felt that I didn’t have anything to offer the blogosphere and I didn’t just want to throw something out there. However, last night, while the boys were at the Rockies game, I watched Tooth Fairy with my two girls, (Of course, we had cherry and apple pie to go with it.) and “The Rock” said something that resonated with me.
“Doing something you love is never a waste of time.”
I started writing because I heard voices in my head. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but these “people” wouldn’t shut up about their lives and the problems they were facing. It was awesome because their lives kept me company during some very lonely and hard times. I’d be changing diapers or breast-feeding at two a.m. in the morning and all I could do is think about these people, how they deserved to have their stories told, and it made me feel as if I might be able to offer the world something of value again. (Besides my three children, whom I think will always be my best masterpieces.)
One night, I parked my butt in front of the computer, put my hands on the keyboard, and dumped the characters out of my head. I wrote for two hours straight without pausing to consider what people would think of it. After I finished for the night and read the not so eloquent words on the paper, an electrical charge pulsed through me.
I knew this was what I needed to do, not for the world, but for ME.
A funny thing happened the more I wrote, the happier I became scrubbing snot nosed faces and toilets. I hummed again while folding laundry and vacuuming smashed goldfish from the carpet. It took me a while before I realized that writing made me feel whole, something I missed after I gave up my “paid” job to become a stay-at-home mom. Within three months, I finished my manuscript, shelved it, and started the sequel. Because after all this was for me and revision wasn’t necessary.
It wasn’t until after the birth of my third child and the death of my beloved cousin that I didn’t just want to write for me any more. I wanted to publish my stories. I wanted the new voices to have a chance at changing the world one story at a time. That’s when I started taking writing seriously, I trolled the blogs, read industry news, and attended conferences. All of those things made me realize that I could no longer throw any old words on the page, but that I needed to learn my craft and the industry.
Unfortunately, the more I learned, the more self-doubt crept in and I started to freak out about my stories. The plot was slow, the tension dull, and the characters I once loved weren’t complex enough. Daily I plowed on, stressed and intently focused on making the perfect manuscript. I was desperate to get my stories out there, but it wasn’t until last night that I remembered how much I love writing.
Right now as I write this, I’m smiling because I’m lucky enough to know that I LOVE to write. Love it! As Jerry McGuire said, “It completes me.”
Maybe one day, I’ll have an actual book sitting on a shelf in a bookstore or chilling on a virtual shelf, but I’ve decided that’s no longer my end game goal. I’m going back to revealing in the process of telling my character’s stories.