I have been writing since I was a child. I used to sit in the basement with my older sister and my cousin on summer holidays and we would write stories together. For hours. I remember the stories we wrote always had to have a tragic element to them; girl goes blind, boy dies, girl gets diptheria, etc. Even back then I had a dark side.
As I grew up I continued to write, but mostly poems, short stories or 'dear diary' type stuff.
I always viewed it as a hobby.
Then I had my kids and it become an outlet for my emotions, feelings and passions. Lots of letters to the editor, newspaper columns and rantings. My opinions were becoming known....to me, at least. My voice was still soft, and quiet, and hidden, for the most part.
About six years ago I took some writing courses. I found great inspiration, guidance, and encouragement among the teachers and students. Out of one of those classes, three other keeners and myself formed a writers group that met every week, for about four years. We came with poems, stories, rantings, ramblings and other varied and weird writings. We supported and critiqued and cheered each other on.
Through all of these years, my hearts desire was to write a novel. A book. I rarely, if ever, spoke this dream to anyone, for fear of being laughed at and generally looked at like I was a loon. This dream stayed tucked away in my heart for only me to gaze on with longing.
However, about two years ago, the dream began knocking on the door of my life. It became harder and harder to ignore. I began to entertain thoughts of actually doing it, of writing a book. I began to pray.
A year later, the knocking became more urgent and I knew it was a path I was to walk. Then the fear came. Fear of failure, fear of sucking, fear of what people would think of me. Who was I to do this thing?
With the help of some good friends and lots of prayer, the fear faded. I realized that this was something I needed to do, for me. And that if nothing ever came of it; if all it ever did was sit on MY shelf, that was enough. The journey was in the doing and not the end result.
Once I had reconciled this in my heart, things began to happen. I started to mull over storylines and plot elements.
A year later (yes, one whole year) I had it. The story. Things were solidifying. It was time to DO.
So here I am, at the threshold of a dream. I have been doing this mostly in secret, save for a few trusted people. And yet, today, I had the distinct impression that my journey is not to be done in secret. It is something to share. Why? I'm not exactly sure, except that I think there are others out there with dreams; big dreams, crazy dreams; who are scared to start acting on them. Maybe if I take the big scary step of putting myself and my dream out there, others can take heart, and courage, and a bit of faith, and do the same.
And, I think it might be neat to document the journey. If not for anyone else, then just for me.
So, here goes. Gulp.