Most of my childhood and adolescence, when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was, “I want to be a writer.” When other girls were imagining their weddings or being doctors or teachers, I imagined that I’d live in a little cottage (think English countryside) with either my best friend Tanya, or alone. I’d be surrounded by books, wall to wall built in bookshelves, filled to the ceiling! And I’d write books. Children’s books, then as I grew older, thrillers seemed like a better fit.
I was most at peace when I was writing a story or poem, or reading a book. I was in a safe little bubble, and all the noise in my head would calm. That never changed. Reading takes me to a place that lets me truly breathe.
As I grew older and processed things, issues, relationships, I became interested in psychology. I decided to major in psychology and in the back of my mind thought ‘But I could still write.’ Enter Freshman English 101 and my first editing failure. I took a few poetry and literature classes after that first class but the damage was already done. In my heart I felt that there was no way I had what it takes to be a real writer.
I thrived when it came to research papers. That I can do. And like any good little nerd, I really like them. There’s writing, but also order, organization, it’s fantastic. But it’s not the same. The urge to write was always there, pulling at the back of my mind. Even through surviving my first bout of depression as a grown person, graduating college, getting married, the urge and desire to write called to me. It was my dirty little secret.
I started a book maybe 10 years ago and when I was in the throes of writing my husband walked into the room. I immediately became flushed and closed it down. I felt like he had caught me doing something wrong. Writing had become my deepest darkest desire. I was embarrassed.
Life continued on and brought us to a new state, then came kids. I was a mother, which was something I never thought in a million years that I would want. I was afraid I’d be awful. Jury’s still out, but I feel like most of the time I keep the scale tipped toward the not-so-bad end.
And then came the depression, again. It never really left I guess. I had a couple of miscarriages when we were trying for our second child, so that depression I understood. I embraced it and let it flow through me. I have to experience this and deal with it or it won’t go away. Done. The other, later depression, baffled me. What’s my problem? Why can’t I shake this? My wonderful therapist said to me one day, “There’s a common theme when we talk, do you know what it is?” My mind goes to my mother and father. “Writing. You talk about it and I think that might be part of what is missing for you.”
So, I dedicated a little time each day, no matter how hard it was. I journaled using writing prompts at first. I made sure that I wrote a little each day. And I felt lighter, free. One day, ideas started to pour out of me for stories, dare I say, books. I bought a planner with hour slots and started penciling in time to work on my story. I set a word count goal for each week, just to give me something to work for. And I finished. A whole book.
I haven’t talked about this with many people because, well, it’s personal. It’s my deepest darkest desire. I’m afraid that I’ll fail. And I’m afraid that I won’t be brave enough to try. I’ve decided, with the support of my non-reading husband (believe me that’s a big deal), to focus on writing once my little starts Kindergarten in the Fall. Let’s see if I can make a go of this thing. This blog, well this is part of that journey. I’m excited and scared and hopeful that there are some friendly faces along the way.