“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published.
Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”
~ Melinda Haynes
That was me four years ago – sitting down at my computer to begin writing, with no greater goal than to use writing as a creative outlet. I wasn’t concerned about writing a best seller, or getting published. I simply wanted to write a romance novel like the stories I’d enjoyed reading when I was growing up. And so, my creative journey began.
Starting out with only a generalized plot and a few character sketches scrawled in a notebook, I set off to try the impossible – or what I thought was impossible at the time. After all, I hadn’t written any serious papers since college, and now I was going to write a book? Yes! Using the notebook by my side, the pages on my computer screen began to come alive with dialogue and description. Then – bam! – writer’s block would hit.
Since I was writing as a hobby, I would walk away from my work in progress for days or weeks at a time. During the breaks, unfortunately, I lost my male cats within months of each other. At that point, I returned to my writing, which had gone from being a hobby to a kind of grief therapy. Losing myself in the characters’ lives meant I didn’t I have to think about my own life, and the horrible sadness I was struggling to deal with.
Instead, I could write about the characters having fun at a football game or stealing a kiss in the moonlight – happy times unrelated to my own sorrow. As I continued on, I discovered that as the word count increased, the sadness decreased. Suddenly, I found myself wanting nothing more than to finish the book as a memorial for my boys.
Writing. Researching. Rewriting. Editing. These things consumed me until the day my manuscript was finally completed – for my boys. However, that was not the end of my journey. No, that was only the first leg. After listening to the advice of loved ones, I decided to go for it all and seek out a publisher for my novel. And thankfully, I found one willing to work with new authors.
Becoming an author was not my original goal, but I’m thrilled that the journey led me in this career direction! Now my life has a new sense of purpose and I feel blessed each day for getting the chance to be a member of the writing community with many of the amazing authors out there.
“A meow massages the heart.” ~ Stuart McMillan