When I realized I wanted to be a writer, I barely wrote. I wrote poetry, school papers, small things. Hell, I once passed a college Math course based on the quality of a paper I wrote. It was not my math skills, trust me. I also am still being taught, to the best of my knowledge, at a local college for "Core Classes" on how to write papers. Isn't that cool?
But then I stopped writing.
After a long bit of not writing. I started writing again. Girl child was small and I was having, for want of a better word, an identity crisis. I was supposed to have been a famous writer by then! (27) At the very least, I was supposed to have been a published writer by then (not counting college stuff). What was I? Who was I? From my perspective I was a young woman with an office job and two small kids (and a kick ass husband). A wonderful life for sure, but not the one I had pictured for myself only a few short years before.
The man, being so fucking calm and logical said, "Then write."
I wrote. I wrote a whole damn novel that everyone in my life read. I sent it out to publishers. I got praise but no bites. It was a mystery and as far as plot goes it was fair. As far as characters go, I am still super proud of it. But it sits in a drawer utterly dusty and marked up and dog eared from so many familial readers. But it did spur me on to write all kinds of things. Short stories, poetry, flash fiction. And I was published. Huzzah!
Then my mother-in-law went back to work. We had no reliable child care and I decided to a) get the man a better job by planting a bug in his hear about one I'd heard of (he'll agree to this, I think) and b) quit my not terribly paying job to stay home. Things would be tight, super tight, but we'd make it work.
I stopped writing.
Then I home schooled for a few years due to various reasons and ended up keeping sane by writing stuff little things here and there, but nothing major. Nothing to sink my teeth into. I was floundering.
Our neighborhood changed, for the worse, and we put our house up for sale. We moved in with family for a very long year. Long to us because we are damn near hermits and 9 people in a house is lunacy, long to them because my brother-in-law had been deployed. But the week we moved in, I was officially cleared to go as a writer if I wanted. The kids were attending public school and I was given, by my wonderful man, a laptop after we got the house money.
I wrote...a bit.
March 2005, I stumbled over a site while researching another mystery I was writing (still living with family and volunteering in the kids new classes almost every single day. I even worked the library to boot.) It was Fishnet.com. I read a story. I read a 'porn' story. And I thought...hunh. So I googled for places taking submissions and found another wonderful place called Ruthie's Club. I read another story. I was floored. And I wondered if...I could...do that?
So I did and within ten hours of submitting they'd taken my story and asked for more. That was when it clicked for me. I was a writer and I was going to write. Period.
I haven't looked back. I pretty much write every day. If I don't, I often feel restless and crazed and sort of...grumpy. For years now, I have been bombarded with ideas and as this train clicks along on its imaginary track, I often feel frazzled trying to keep up. I want to write, I want to get it all, I don't want to miss anything at all. At all!
But lately things have shifted and I'm not sure why. In fact, I'm not even sure why I'm blogging this (wrote globbing first time) other than I am pleased and a bit peaceful and I love to stumble over things in blogs that I can identify with, so maybe you can identify. Things in me have found this low lulling rhythm.
I seem to be operating in this slow fuzzy rolling ball of words. And no, I am not still on those killer pain meds from surgery ;). I get ideas but am okay to either mentally file them away or jot them down. I am much more Zen about ideas, how fast they come and the (once upon a time) urge to do something with it right NOW! Which often stressed me out because I was juggling multiple long projects and usually shoving in several shorts where I could.
I don't know how long it will last. I don't even know if it will last. I might wake up tomorrow back to my white-knuckling self. I sometimes feel a stab of panic that I feel this way because I'm slacking off. But then I take three big steps back and look at my week. This week is trying to finish the secret selfish project (already up to 54k), two shorts--roughly 4k each, various bits of maddening paperwork and copy, and proofing a novel as my original self I'm hoping someone will be daring enough to publish. That is my new hope. This book as my original self being out there to be read.
I'm definitely not slacking off. Maybe I'm just learning to cut myself some slack, is all. I must be getting old. ;)