I’ve been super busy lately. I’ve been putting in overtime at work for the last few weeks in addition to my other activities. I work full time, belong to four writers’ groups, write three blog posts per week, participate in an active critique group, and take care of domestic and familial responsibilities. I’m in the process of editing my first novel and writing my second. I’m also planning a writers conference, which is something I’ve never done before.
A well-meaning relative pointed out that if I stopped writing for a while, I would have more time to relax. Bless her heart. She meant well. She just doesn’t understand. Writing is what I do. It is my outlet, the way I maintain my sanity. I don’t feel like myself and get cranky if I’m unable to write.
I began writing in earnest when I was in junior high school. My life was in turmoil due to events beyond my control. It wasn’t difficult for those around me to tell that I was struggling to deal with my emotions and feelings of helplessness. I had some great teachers who tried to talk to me about my situation, but I refused.
One teacher understood far more than I realized and suggested I keep a journal or write about my troubles in some other way. She explained that no one ever had to read what I wrote unless I wanted to share. It was just for me. Being a stubborn teen, I resisted until she finally convinced me to give it a try because I had nothing to lose.
I started writing in an old spiral notebook that I hadn’t completely used the year before. I tore out the old class notes and started writing on the blank sheets that remained. I was never consistent with journal entries, but I poured my soul into poetry. I filled that notebook and several others with words that flowed from my very soul. Once my feelings were translated into words on the page, they no longer haunted me.
As my situation improved, my writing became more humorous and less depressing. I began writing short stories in high school, and discovered my passion for prose. Writing without the restrictions of rhyme and meter allowed me to explore my musings.
I’ve always had a vivid imagination. When I was a child, I made up elaborate stories for my dolls who had jobs, children, horse ranches, divorces, cars that broke down, and hobbies. Two small flower vases served as my antagonists. They were everything from evil step-mothers to mean bosses. Putting those stories on paper gave them a certain magical quality in my eyes.
As I grew older, my imagination progressed from my doll’s life to stories of new love, runaway livestock, dragons, ghosts, werewolves, and stalkers. Yes, romance has always been my favorite genre, but I don’t believe in limiting myself. I’m proud to say that I’ve placed in numerous competitions and had twelve publications across several genres. I hope to add a book contract to that list soon.
My relative meant well with her suggestion, but if I stop writing, I will lose a piece of my identity. I’m a story teller. My mind never shuts down. I write because I can’t stop telling stories. I don’t feel like myself if I go for more than a few days without putting my words on paper. I took an extended hiatus from writing once, and those were the most miserable years of my life.
I am many things, but first and foremost, I am a writer.
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