I honestly, I don’t remember deciding for the first time to be a writer. It seems like it was something I was a part of who I was.
I can remember as a child of maybe nine or ten, sitting down in my room one Saturday afternoon and writing a story. I was proud of myself. Even now, I can remember the feeling I had when I had written the words “The End”. I don’t remember what the story was, but the feeling of accomplishment still lingers. I remember thinking that day, I’m going to write a book. Even as an avid reader, many times while walking around the library looking for a book to read, I found myself thinking that one day my name will be on a book sitting on a library bookshelf.
In high school, I took classes on writing. I even wrote a short story as a classroom assignment. For the first time in my life, I saw how hard it was to write, but I still enjoyed the journey. I still had the “one day I will write a book” dream. I truly believe that if I had the internet back then, with the online writing opportunity that I have today, I would have bloomed as a writer a lot sooner. But there was no such opportunity back in the 70’s, so when I was finished with the class the dream of being a writer was once again put on a shelf.
It wouldn’t be until I got out of the army and back home that I would once again look at the idea of being a writer. I found magazines that talked about the writing life. I read those magazines cover to cover. I wished and dreamt of the writing life. I still didn’t take that next step and started doing anything.
I think that is when the fear of not being good enough that anybody would actually read anything I wrote, took root.
Fear can be crippling.
Fear can hold you back.
Fear can keep you from fulfilling dreams.
It would be another two decades, when the internet had taken off before I would finally sit down and start to write stories. It wasn’t until I wrote the words “the end” to my first finished romance novel that I remembered that day when I was nine or ten. Things had come full circle for me.
It was then a light bulb had turned on. If I wanted to be a writer, then I needed to write. So, I bought a notebook, a pack of pencils and started to write. I am the odd one who always had a notebook with me. I am the odd one who spends their breaks scribbling in a notebook, while everybody else was gossiping about Jo Blow co-worker.
Looking back I see that it has been a very long journey. It took me a very long time to figure out that the reward a writer receives for their work doesn’t just drop out of the sky. A writer has to sit down and pull their story out of their head and put it on paper or a computer screen.
If you are like me and have dreamt of writing a book, I am here to tell you to stop dreams and start doing. You will be glad you did. I know I am.