There has never been a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I wrote here and there. I developed stories and bided my time when the muse would hit right at the perfect time. Basically, I was afraid of rejection or success and I never did anything about it. Then a few months ago, a perfect storm of circumstances happened that put in motion the courage to go forward with my dream of being a writer.
I never graduated from college. I started the first time right after high school, but I wasn’t disciplined enough to see it through. I tried again in my early twenties but at that point, I’d gotten too used to working a job and with as much school as I had to do, it seemed pointless. Fast forward to last year.
I had been a stay at home mom for thirteen years and I knew that eventually my kids would grow up and go on their own and then I would want to do something other than sit at home. I applied for Vocational Rehabilitation through my state and got accepted. I was on my way to getting my English degree, so I could teach junior high and high school. I’d forgotten, or rather I discovered, the challenge of writing papers. For my classes I had to start writing again.
Then I started reading a game app named Choices. The stories were decent and I enjoyed the ability to choose how the story went. The only thing was they locked some of the choices behind a pay wall. It was frustrating. Which got me thinking that as much as I enjoyed it, I felt like I could write something as good, if not better than what I was reading and be able to control every aspect of how a story ended up.
That led to Wattpad. My daughter had discovered the site the year or so before. I didn’t really understand it until I sat down and had her show me how it worked. The one thing that appealed to me the most was the fact that I could break up my story into episodes which made writing the story a little less intimidating. Not only that but you could get feedback from readers about the story. It was perfect combination of writing at my own pace and the ego boost knowing people are reading your story and liking it (or not, which criticism can only make the story better, right?).
Then I had to have carpal tunnel surgery. Now you’re probably wondering, “Um, how does that play into your jumpstart back into writing?” Glad you asked. I had both wrists done at the same time. I’m also a manual wheelchair using paraplegic. So spent about three weeks in bed in October. After that first week, I could use my hands well enough that I had plenty of time to write. So because I had all this time, I was able to not only keep up with my weekly episodes for Sweetwater on Wattpad but write ahead. I’d never had so much material written for a story, ever.
I was feeling pretty confident. It was almost like a dam had broken and I was not only writing a lot, but I was dusting off stories I’d been keeping on the back-burner forever. Then it was November – National Novel Writing Month. I’d tried it a couple of times before but never finished. I just found writing over 1600 words a day too intimidating. But now the juices were flowing and it seemed I couldn’t get the story written down fast enough. Instead of writing 1600 words a day, I was writing 3000 words a day. It was amazing. And to top it all off, I finished the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel a week before it was due.
Since then, I’ve finished three more first drafts, have ideas outlined for two more, and I’ve pretty much written something every day since then. It’s exciting, it’s affirmative, and I haven’t felt so proud of myself in a long time.
Time will tell if I can get published. 2020 is the year for editing, querying, and wondering if I should self-publish. But whether I do or do not inflict my writing on the world, just the mere fact that I’ve actually started something and saw it through to the end is amazing to me.