Ghost in the Window: The world of writing: a solitary, lonely, fulfilling, exciting art
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Writing, for me, was a frightening endeavor, but one I longed for. After ten years of teaching 8th grade English, I decided to pursue this dream full-time. However, every time I sat down to put pen to paper, my brain would freeze. What was I thinking? Why did I think I could do this?
Maybe my first manuscript goal was too lofty. So, I decided to try my hand at writing a fictionalized version of my life. After all, how many times had I heard "Write what you know"? Of course I knew my life. Easy peasy, right? Not so much. Turns out it was much more difficult than I'd thought.
But, I still had dozens of stories and ideas floating around in my brain, yet I struggled to get them down on paper (or on screen). I wondered if I'd made a mistake thinking I could do this. And then I took my Jeep to the service station, where an elderly man sat down right next to me...in a room full of empty chairs.
I offered a polite hello and continued reading on my Kindle. Except this stranger had others ideas. Like talking to me. And what could I do except listen? It was akin to being on an airplane next to someone who has every intention of chatting your ear off while all you want to do is sleep (or in my case, read).
And then as he rambled on (I thought he must be a lonely fellow, or very, very friendly and social, at the very least), my mind began to wander. What if a lady too polite to tell a grandpa-like stranger to let her read in peace ended up being kidnapped later by said stranger?
From there, my first novel was born. On my way home, I called my husband to tell him about my experience, laughing about it, and then rushed home to begin writing.
It took a full year from start to revised (800,000 times) finish. But, I'd done it. I'd accomplished writing a full novel. It was a high I wanted to repeat again and again.
And so I continue on this writing journey, jotting down stories and arguing with my characters when they want to do (or don't want to do) something I'm not on board with. (Trust me when I tell you characters can be bossy people. When they want things their way, they'll sabotage you until you listen.)
So, here's to many more years of creating stories and characters I hope others will love as much as I do.