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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Smack Over The Head

Good Morning Folks,

The light bulb came on for this post as a result of a friend's birthday (not saying whom just in case she doesn't want anyone guessing her age) having happened yesterday. My birthday is next month and I'll be 30. I thought today would be fun to explore how or what makes a writer decide "This is it. This is my career, I want to query and hope I can be published."

Here's how it happened to me:

I've talked about when I started writing, but when isn't what smacked me over the head and said "You need to do this." What did that is the fact that I'm turning 30 this year.

I know. What's so big about turning 30 that would make me decide that I had to pursue my writing on a more serious level?

For years I wrote manuscript after manuscript. Most of them were unfinished (some even got deleted or thrown in my trashcan). I kept trying to find my niche, the type of fiction that I most enjoyed writing--that I could see myself churning out the stories. Simultaneously I was hiding behind the fact that nothing was finished.

I was scared. I wasn't sure I had the thick skin needed to accept the rejection slips with the acceptance letters. I wasn't sure if my writing was good enough. I wasn't certain that I had what it took to keep up.

Finally, one day I was contemplating how many years I wasted on fear. I was thinking "Oh for crying out loud, I'm going to be 30. I don't need to waste anymore time being afraid. I owe it to my characters to pursue this." And along with my characters, I owe it to myself.

You see, writing and publishing has been a dream of mine for years (as I've probably mentioned a time or two...or three). I used to go into bookstores and imagine my book on the shelf. I thought about how amazing it would feel to see it there. How excited I'd be to sign for anybody who wanted me to sign their copy. How great I'd feel knowing that people enjoyed my work as much as I enjoyed writing the story. (My main driving force besides the fact that I have to write--is that I've always had the goal in mind of giving people a story to enjoy as much as I have. More than any amount of money a writer could receive, that's the biggest joy I could have as a writer is having readers who love the stories).

I couldn't give up that dream. That's when I realized writing was my career. Motherhood, being a wife, my faith all that is the center point of my life, but writing shoots off as a spoke from that hub giving me another purpose. Giving me something different and challenging to do.

I love being a wife and mother. I'm blessed to have the wonderful, loving husband and son I have. But, I also know that writing addresses my talents on another level. Something that I just love to do.

So, there was no other option. The choice was made. I don't know what the future holds for me and the stories that burst out of me, but I'm looking forward to continuing writing and watching myself improve and grow.

What "smacked" you over the head and got you thinking that writing and publishing was the career for you?


Have A Thought-Filled Thursday!

4 comments:

Regina Milton said...

My smack was similar. I have always loved it, just as you have, but one day a friend of mine said, "Regina THIS is what you are good at, THIS is what you should be spending your time with". At the time I owned a cleaning business. I liked the encouragement but it hit me a few months later as I realized I wasn't getting younger and I didn't want to waste my time in doubt. My birthday is next month as well and it got me started thinking of all the things I never tried because of fear and the fact that I don't want to waste more time and more of what God has given me.

bethanyintexas said...

Regina,

Awesome. What day is your b-day next month? I'm the 15th.

Bane of Anubis said...

By the time I was 6, I realized I wanted to be a writer or a baseball player, but I never really got serious about the whole writing thing until 4 - 5 years ago... I think it was a matter of maturing to a point where I realized I needed to either grasp hold of what I wanted or just let go.

bethanyintexas said...

Bane,

Sounds about right. I think most writers just get to a point they can't help but write. :-) Thanks for the comment!