A writer? Never.
It was about six years ago. I was chilling on the cottage couch (you know the kind that have lost their spring and sag, but are the BEST for an afternoon repose?), it was teeming rain outside, and I suddenly got an idea. About a woman, who time travels after her death. The elements landed in my brain like jigsaw pieces…click, click, click. I remember my heart beating faster as I envisioned the characters. Within about 15 minutes I had the story arc. I had my first line, which for the record, has remained unchanged. I knew how it started and how it would end. Now of course, there were plenty of bits between those two points to be sorted out (and bits that have taken me the last six years to write, but that’s another story…), but the story I imagined that rainy, fall day, is the story I wrote.
I never set out to write a novel. In fact, when I went to journalism school everyone assumed it was to become a writer. “Wrong,” I’d say, shaking my head vehemently. “I never (ever) want to write.” I wanted to be in television – news magazine production, to be exact. That’s what I focused on at school, but naturally due to the nature of the program, I learned critical writing skills along the way. And now, nearly a decade later, I write for a living.It’s not just how I make money, it’s how I feed my creativity and passion…which is a good thing, because I have since realized writers don’t make money (easily).
Recently my parents, in the typical attic clean out move, gave me boxes of musty report cards, projects, and other paraphernalia from my early school days. In those dusty boxes I discovered a story I’d written one about ice skating elephants that fall in love. Another about hippos seeking adventurebeyond the zoo walls. And yet another about a young girl who dreams about an alternate reality, and then wakes up to see it’s about to take place. I was maybe 13 when I wrote that last one, and the depth of the idea I created back then surprised me. Clearly, I’m doing exactly what I was always supposed to do. And, I have a (whole) lot yet to learn.
I do believe talking about goals is a great way to make them happen. That and saying “never”, which always seems to result in my never thing happening for sure. So my goal is to get an agent, and to be published – one way or another. And I will keep going until it happens. One way or another.
I’d love to hear from you – what’s your big goal this year? What are you doing to make sure it happens? Never say never…