Many authors grow up with the dream of being a writer. I wasn’t one of them.
The idea of writing didn’t cross my mind until I was twenty. Before that, my experience with writing was limited to essay assignments in school, and so, not surprisingly, I didn’t think writing could be fun. In fact, I used to believe I didn’t like literature or English classes. Sure, I loved to read, but fun books. Cool books. Not the stuffy classics. *This is still true. Not a classics fan.*
Looking back, I can see that there were signs I might enjoy writing and all that “boring” English stuff. When I was younger, one of my favorite things about going on family vacations was the chance to sit in the back seat and pretend I was sleeping. Really, I was making up stories in my head. Yes, you read that right. I’m admitting to hearing voices in my head. I also had my parents fooled into thinking I was an angel child because I liked to clean. That was story time as well.
Still, I never considered writing as a career option. I went into secondary education, with a major in health education and a minor in history teaching. NOT English. Because I didn’t like that writing stuff, remember? My choice was practical. Something that had a very straight-forward career path.
During my first year of teaching, I had an idea come to me. It was a character. Some of you know her as Ava, from my first book, The Cyrun. One evening, my husband was working late. I was caught up on grading and lesson planning.
Ha. Gotcha there. A teacher is never caught up. But nothing would fall apart the very next day if I took a step away from the job.
I opened the laptop and started writing Ava’s story.
This pattern continued until I had a sloppy 50,000-word manuscript in hand. I thought it was great. It actually was terrible.
Amid teaching, buying a first house, a career change, my husband’s busy school schedule, and a million other things, writing was set to the side for a while.
A couple years later, Ava popped back into my head, and I knew I hadn’t done her story justice.
I tried again, and Ava’s story really began to take shape. Through a lot of revisions, Ava’s story changed into one I believed was worth sharing. I learned a lot. Most of all, I learned that I love to write.
It can be frustrating. Like throw-the-laptop-against-the-wall frustrating sometimes. But when the story finally takes shape, there’s nothing like it.
So now, I’m a writer.