Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I've been writing again. I used to write a lot. When I was a pre-teen my friends and I had a writers club. I find great amusement in the things I wrote then. As any normal teenage girl, I loved poetry, and wrote plenty of sappy poems. After I married I bought books on how to become an author, and tried my hand at some of the suggestions. I had a subscription to Writer's Digest for a year, and probably still have those 12 issues somewhere.

Then there was a time when I decided I wasn't good enough, or disciplined enough, or interested enough to really pursue it. I laid aside my writing and decided that it was a childish pursuit. I thought it might be nice to try my hand at it again when my children were grown or perhaps after my husband retired and we had all the time retirees are supposed to have.

Over the years my creativity would flare up and I would spend a little time writing. Mostly I kept it to blog posts, occasionally an idea for a picture book. These little spurts would only last a day or two, never long enough to sustain the discipline necessary for book writing.

Once, during one of my more dramatic moments I sat at the computer till the wee hours of the morning writing an idea for a novel. As I wrote, I never intended to pursue publication. My daughter Deborah was newborn and most of my time was spent nursing and recuperating from her Cesarean delivery. My sleeping patterns were off, and my postpartum hormones were raging.

In the course of about a week I had written about 15 chapters. I got stuck when it came to writing the actual romance. The action had been easy. It was the sappy stuff that made every attempt I made laughable. I had the skeleton of the plot in my mind but faltered when it came to adding the nerves and flesh and skin of my creation.

I gave up (as I usually do) when the going got tough, but my mind would not let it rest. I thought about my story for years. It stayed just behind all the other more pressing things. When I went to bed at night I would puzzle over my plot. I would try to work out the problems that had stopped me. I didn't open the file or actually add any new information, but my brain buzzed whenever my life grew quiet enough for me to remember its existence.

Finally, seven years later, I found incentive. I was going through some difficult times. Decisions regarding my future were being thrust upon me. I was faced with the question, "If you cannot do what you love most, what can you do instead?" I thought about that question for a week. I decided that I would try my hand at writing again. If I tried it and failed then I would try something else. I was so upset about the changes going on around me that I couldn't spare the emotional energy to knit pick my writing.

I have now been working steadily on the book I began so long ago. Last night I finally finished it. I say that haltingly. I know it is far from finished. I still have revising and editing to do. I still have to find a publisher and most likely an agent to negotiate for me. I still have to come up with an amazing title. However, the story itself has finally been written down. Last night a little after midnight I wrote the words "The End."

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