Standing in the middle of a bookstore surrounded by the smell of ink and paper and Starbucks coffee I am overcome. There are millions of words contained on these shelves and not one of them is mine.
I have dreamed of being a writer since as long as I can remember. Dreamt of my name on the cover of a book, people reading my words strung together and that book finding a home on someone’s bookshelf.
I have written things; songs, poems, curriculum, stories. I have even had a few articles published. I’ve posted to my blog for over nine years and readers have ebbed and flowed. I have started scads of stories that were supposed to be books but never amounted to anything.
So I have to ask myself if I am really a writer.
I can’t seem to quit doing it.
When I don’t write here you’ll find my words in my journal. I have been filling them up since I received my first one at the age of 16. I don’t remember what I did before that but I am sure I was writing something down somewhere. I remember that journal and I still have it, along with a large drawer of them that I have since filled up.
I have participated in the writerly world of bloggers and authors and have gleaned a few things;
1. Getting published appears to be a lot of really hard work. Writing the book is one thing, the proposal and editing are quite another.
2. It is a llllooooonnnnnnggggg process which requires patience.
3. That long process is a scary mystery to me. I have no idea of the order of these things and I know I should probably find out. At this point…ignorance is still bliss.
4. The publishers like it if you have a well-established social media platform. I’m guessing that makes the publicity job way easier.
I have been reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkheurst and Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider (and here I thought MY name might be difficult to pronounce on the cover of a book!) Both of these books are about intentionality. Lysa talks about looking at where that river goes before jumping in with both feet, Tsh talks about thinking through what you want life to look like.
So I ask myself how much of me am I willing to give to this writing thing at this season of my life? Is this for now or later? Do I just keep hanging out on the riverbank for the moment and wait, hopeful that someone might just throw me in the river like what happened to sweet Ann V? Do I want this to be my work? And if I do, how do I move intentionally toward fulfilling my dream? There are at least three things I can think of off the top of my head…
1. Obviously – write regularly. I admit to being rather haphazard in this blog world as of late. That wasn’t always the case. I was regular as clockwork on the old blog…something has changed in me and I’m not sure I like it. I miss the ‘flowers’.
2. I need to keep honing the writing skills and make them better.
3. Mostly, I just need to quit making excuses and do it.
I have some things that are already written that could be reformatted and sent into that amazing Amazon world of self-publishing, I even own the how-to book on how to do that…time and laziness are my enemies if I am completely honest.
1. A self-published inspirational journal called Fresh Flowers – taken from my blog posts (those really regular ones).
2. A children’s story that my husband and I actually recorded and gave away for awhile called Treasure Valley.
3. The 31 day project I did in October on hidden disabilities.
Then I have three novel ideas that I have begun and not finished… on three different computers…and I’m not entirely sure where they are all at. I know one I had to quit writing because I got so emotionally involved in the storyline that I kept crying everytime I was writing…it isn’t helpful.
This is my dream-state-of-the-union speech for today. Something more to reclaim. (I decided I’d rather not talk about the reno at the moment…though I do have beautiful countertops now!)
Have you got words of wisdom, encouragement, a large bat? Comments….have something to say!