This entry is going to be hard to write. And probably long.
I’ll apologize now.
I wanted to really point out how my writing process failed me and how we’re all different.
I wish I could be that writer that finished a book in a few months. But, I just didn’t understand the idea of writing when I started.
It was a release. A therapy for all those pent up emotions. I never took it seriously.
I want to give you an idea of writing got in my blood. So here’s a handy-dandy timeline:
1998-ish: I get in my head that I want to write. I’m about twelve or so. I start by writing really bad poetry which I’ve posted here from the later years. I also have a dream about this awesome story that I start writing right away.
2001-ish: I’m in high school and have been playing at this writing thing for about three years or so. Still mostly poetry, but I have that pesky dream-story that I keep like a journal. A life I wish I could have, a combination of so many things I read about that I gobbled up. The wonderful thing about high school: creative writing class as an elective. I get to learn more about this writing thing. I share my poetry in class, but don’t even talk about my “story” concept. It’s PRIVATE.
2005: I graduate high school, writing has still been with me. I helped with the literary journal (this really should be in quotation marks because it was a student made magazine of sorts where pretty much anything that was submitted got published), but I was too chicken to submit anything myself.
2008-ish: I’m about 21 by the time I realize that writing is something I really like to do, I still treat different story ideas as a journal it’s basically the most private thing I have. I’ve just met a guy (later to be my husband) who asks to read it, and he’s really the first person I’ve ever shared it and my passion with. I’m also in college at this point, I submit a poem to the literary magazine they put out once a year. It’s accepted and I get a burst of unexpected pleasure.
2010: I’m married by the end of the year, my husband for the last few years that we’ve been dating has been encouraging me to write, but I still treat this like a journal, I don’t have an serious ambition with it but I have a general idea of how the story begins and ends. Just not much about that pesky middle.
2011: I have a mental panic attack. Can I really write? There are so many people out there being published, where would I even begin this process? Up to this point, I never really looked in to the publishing world or the peer-system that is out there for other people like me. I thought it was private for everyone, that once you finished a novel you could publish it. Let’s face it I was naïve.
November/December 2011: In my exploring of the world of writing, I discover just how large the world of writing is and how much I don’t know. Part of this exploration was reading other writers’ blogs, I realize that writers do signings and readings and start to go them (Tattered Cover and Barnes and Noble are amazing!) and I learn about another amazing opportunity. Conferences, I register for my first conference.
April 2012: Go to my first conference and I realize, again, just how much I don’t know. But I am inspired even more to start sharing my writing and trying to finish this craft. Honestly, after this conference was when I got the real push to finish what I had first dreamed about long ago.
November 2013: It takes over a year, as well as another conference, before that novel gets finished.
People, in case you can’t do math, that transition for me took fifteen years.
I know I’m not alone out there, but I am embarrassed at the length of time it really took me to get serious about something I loved so much.
I want to be better and I plan to do it. No more taking fifteen years to realize a dream. I want to write and I want to write a lot.
Through the 15 years, I’ve realized I have to plan. If I don’t, I’ll never succeed.
I have to set goals, but not be upset if I don’t succeed right away, I will get there.
I want to be a better blogger, we’ll see how that goes.
Maybe one day I’ll have another bullet to add to that list, or several like getting an agent and getting published.
Dreams do come true, you just have to be willing to work for them.