“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein
I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a dual BA in English and Psychology, a combination I have found supremely helpful in the craft of writing. People ask me how long I’ve wanted to be a writer, and I have to say as far back as I can remember. I was always writing stories, losing myself in them, dreaming about them when I was supposed to be doing something else.
For the longest time, I simply wrote to write. I don’t remember learning how to write. I think, though, that being an avid reader helped me to understand and apply basic elements of writing. Somehow I knew I should kick off my stories with conflict and when the dust settles from that, to torment my characters with a bigger, nastier conflict. I knew dialogue needed to be real and characters needed to be well-rounded, three-dimensional, and sympathetic. Even the bad guys.
But there was a lot to it that I didn’t understand and didn’t apply, and soon I learned that a BA in English and having the passion to write wasn’t going to be enough to make me an author. After UNH, I took writing courses, attended conferences, participated in workshops, read magazines and articles on writing, read some great authors, read some terrible authors, and wrote my stuff throughout it all.
There was a long span of time in there where I gave up. Just stopped writing, quit mid-sentence in all my works-in-progress, and turned my back on my dream. There were lots of reasons for it, but they all boiled down to lack of confidence. I just didn’t believe in myself. I talked myself out of trying.
When my oldest child, Maddy, was born, I felt a resurgence. I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom, and so there were chunks of time that I had to myself. I suddenly wanted to write again. After my son, Riley, was born, I was writing full-throttle. Finally I knew heart-deep that not a thing was going to stop me from writing again. Not rejections. Not bad critiques. Not writer’s block. Not negativity. Nothing. I totally and completely credit my children as my inspiration.
Going on eight years now, I am still all about writing. I wake up at 4 in the morning to take advantage of the two hours that the house is still and quiet. The phone isn’t ringing. The dog isn’t barking. The kids aren’t vying for my attention. I have coffee, my manuscript, soft music, and I am in total bliss.
Thrillingly so, one of my short stories was accepted April 2011 by The Greensilk Journal. You can find the story on my site, under Treasures, or check out the journal where a lot of other neat pieces are published.
I’m lucky to have the support I do on the writing front. I’m also lucky to have my family who may not be writers, but they are my cheerleaders. Through the ordeals and harmony of my kids’ lives, I am reminded how satisfying it is to persevere and conquer. My husband, Rob, is great at picking up the slack whenever I lock myself away in my study. My mother is the one who showed me the magic of reading, the places books can take you, and she has always encouraged me to follow my dream of being a novelist. My father has always been matter-of-fact about what I’ve wanted to do with my life. He never seemed to think such a dream was crazy nor impossible. He looks at it as where things are supposed to be headed for me.
As for me, I am my own biggest, most determined support. I remember those dark days when I quit writing. When I believed I couldn’t do it. I was not happy, not truly happy. I know how I got to that place, and making the comeback I did made me stronger, more confident, and less anxious. Writing does my mind, body, and soul good.