Monday, May 26, 2014

I Am a Writer

Robert de Niro said it right when he said, “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine addled, crippled by procrastination, and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.” I could not relate any more than I do every day of my life. 

I started writing as a small child when I would staple index cards together, draw pictures, and tell a story. That was fun, and I think I still have one somewhere. In high school, my sophomore English teacher assigned a short story to us and gave us two weeks to write it. I wrote it that night, and it was seven pages, singled spaced. I have that somewhere as well. Then college happened. After switching majors from history to English, I discovered that you can major in Creative Writing! WHAT?! Why didn't they tell me this in high school? Probably because it's next to impossible to graduate from college and make good money by writing short stories. The good news is that I love English, so I became a teacher. It really was my calling.

I didn't write after that for about two years. Then the stories started brewing and I knew I had to do something about it. My husband and I bought laptops and thought we were cool, sitting in the bookstore typing. This was 2000. It really wasn't that common. Every "book" I started, I stopped about 15-20 pages in. I couldn't finish. Hell, I couldn't even really begin. Then I did it. in 2003 I finished my first full length novel. I queried via snail mail, but it didn't go anywhere. Instead of getting an agent, I was told that maybe I should write young adult. CRAZY TALK! So, I sat down and wrote a young adult short story. I sent it out and it got published. OK. I guess I can do this. I ended up throwing that first novel away.

Since then, I've written four full length novels, and have two started. I love that feeling of finishing the first draft. What a rush! How many people, really, can say they've written a novel? OK, I know that in the writing community there are a lot, but in the rest of the world, we are pretty darn special. Anyway, after not finding an agent for the first three, I put them on That's been quite the experience. I haven't given up on the agent situation, but I want to focus on new stuff now. 

That leads me to this. I'm a writer. As many times as I swear it off, I can't stop. I can't stop typing the words in my head. I can't stop thinking of stories to tell. I can't stop hoping for JK Rowling style success. I want more. So I write. 

This summer, I plan to write. I am rewriting my NANO into 1st person POV. I'm writing the sequel to Keridwen, which is 1/3 done. Then I'm going to finish my middle grades novel that I started three years ago. This is the goal. This is the plan. I am a writer. Are you?

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