From an early age, I seemed to have a knack for writing. From elementary school and beyond, I seemed to have a sharp talent and keen eye for anything related to the English language, which explains why I won all those Spelling Bees. At the time I didn’t realize it, but even way back then, I was already honing my skills for what I would later refer to as my passion as an adult, or more simply put, what I felt I was born to do.
I began to get the notion that maybe I was onto something with this whole writing thing back in junior high school. Writing came so easily to me that I actually enjoyed my English classes. My teachers always told me that I had “potential.” That was frustrating to me, mainly because at first I didn’t really understand what potential meant, and then later, after I knew what it meant, I realized that I had yet to reach my full potential. Even now, twenty-seven years after my high school graduation, I realize that I am nowhere near reaching my full potential as a writer.
Classifying oneself as a writer may seem a bit snobbish to those who don’t understand, but please allow me to explain. By saying I’m a writer, I am NOT saying that I’m rich and famous, nor am I saying that I think I’m smarter/better than the next person. When I say I’m a writer, I mean just that–I write. I create people and places and scenarios and have fun doing it. When that particular urge grabs hold and won’t let go, it’s because I have a story in my head that’s begging to be told. When I’m finally finished with my creation, I sit back and immediately wonder if it’s good enough for publication and if so, if others will like it. I must be doing something right, as I currently have 10 e-books out there.
Lots of people make the comment that “They want to be a writer.” Well, while it sounds easy, and while you might think that the more famous writers such as Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, etc., have a veritable life of ease, let me assure you that those particular writers have no doubt suffered countless rejection slips on their way to the top. Those are disheartening, yes, but they are a rite of passage for every single writer. If you want to be a writer, then you have to make time to write, regardless of your “regular” job, your husband, your kids, the fact that it’s five o’clock and you have no idea what to make for dinner. If you are truly passionate about this writing thing, you will make time and find the time to write. That sounds harsh, but hey, that great story that’s been banging around in your head for the last several weeks isn’t going to write itself. Writing also involves a certain degree of inner soul searching, sometimes physical pain, and a bit of financial expenditure. Before the thought of owning a personal computer was ever entertained, there was nothing in this world that I loved more than buying a brand new notebook and turning to that first fresh, blinding white, blank page, ink pen in hand. In those days it was not uncommon for me to literally sit and write all day, and at the end of the day, the finger I’d been holding the pen with would be somewhat misshapen on the tip. Ink stains on my hands were so common that I soon stopped worrying about them. With the advent of the computer, certain programs like Microsoft Works or Word became a necessity if I was going to write. Floppy discs progressed to CD’s as well as flash drives. Now the blank page has instead become a blank screen, and while paper and ink pens seem to be a thing of the past when it comes to writing a novel, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of reminiscing now and then…
I was quite surprised to discover that I am now considered a “public figure”, simply because I have published works out there. This revelation came about after my publisher sent out an email warning of the dangers of posting personal/sensitive information on social media sites. Her reasoning was that since we authors are considered public figures, that also means that we have a fan base, but there’s no way to tell if we have one or more fans who would love to know our address so they could show up out of the blue and get an autograph, or if they’d like to have our address for more sinister purposes simply because they didn’t like something we wrote. I do seem to have a small fan club at my “regular” job, but whenever someone is standing there gushing about my talent, I usually just stand there and smile politely and probably blush a little (OK, maybe a lot). And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I have been asked for, and have given, autographs.
Once you have written what you feel is a masterpiece, be prepared to have your ego shattered and your heart broken. While every writer loves nothing more than reading their own work, a publisher/editor is likely to feel very differently. You have to realize the countless manuscripts they’ve literally struggled through, and continue to struggle through, on a daily basis, just to find that one diamond in the rough that they feel is worthy of publication. The best thing you can do is keep writing and keep sending your work to a trusted publisher/editor. Sooner or later all of your hard work will pay off, and you too will enjoy the ultimate satisfaction of seeing your name on your creation. For writers, it isn’t all about money. We writers are a different breed. We love seeing our name in print, whether it’s in digital form or hardback. That’s proof that we have separated ourselves from the rest of the world in that this is our creation, our baby, something that we brought into being from literally nothing, for others’ perusal, contemplation, and hopefully, enjoyment. And personally, there isn’t a feeling in the world like it.
If I have piqued your interest, my work can be found on any site that sells e-books, but I usually refer potential readers to Amazon. I specialize in poetry (a lot of which can be found right here on the Yahoo! Voices site), romance, and erotica. In closing, I must give special thanks to my wonderful publisher, Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing, and my equally wonderful editor, Meghan Tobin O’Drowsky. These two wonderful ladies felt that my work should be shared for all the world to see, and I’m hoping you’ll feel the same!