Okay, so I’ve written a few novels. I’ve even gotten an e-publisher to be interested enough to want to publish my most recent one for all the world to see. Or so I hope. Whew, this business of writing is a lot more complicated than I thought. That’s all right though. I’ve decided to finally chase the dream.
I first started writing at around the age of about ten, when I decided to try to pen my own story for the “Dark Shadows” television series. Remember it? No? Well that’s okay, it was a looong time ago. It may actually have been one of the first paranormal romances, and I fell for it completely. I loved the mystery and intrigue. I loved Barnabas Collins (the vampire protagonist), and I wished I could be a part of it. So, I created my own story line.
It was pathetic. I was already an avid reader, but my first attempts at writing taught me one thing – writing is hard. Oh, the story and dialogue came easily enough, but it took time. A lot of time,and I knew it needed a lot of work to make it good. I realized it would take more time and hard work than my ten year old self was willing to give it. See, my problem is I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist – no, really. If I start something, really start it, then I want to finish it. I give it my all and learn everything I can about it, so I can be sure I’m doing it as well as I possibly can.
Then there’s the whole life thing that happens. I grew up, married, had two children, divorced, raised two children on little to no money, tried to go back to school, couldn’t afford to, met a man, fell in love, married, added his three teenaged children to my now teenaged children, formed a new family, worked, was blessed with five fabulous grandchildren, starting writing novels, …then everything fell apart. I’m still married to that wonderful man, I still have my family – thank God, but financially, the bottom fell out of our lives.
I was a mortgage advisor for one of Canada’s largest banks and had been a real estate agent for five years previous to that. How the heck did it happen? Well, let’s see, first my husband was downsized out of his corporate job of thirty years, at the age of fifty-five. I was working commissioned sales in mortgages, and we thought things would get better. They didn’t. Our mortgage interest rate was locked in at a higher rate than we could really afford on my husband’s company pension, there was little to no equity in the home, and we were staring at mounting debt. All this lead us down the slippery path to financial disaster.
I quit my high stress, commissioned sales job, we sold the house at no profit, and moved in with my parents (temporarily, I promise you mom and dad), and decided to take a breather to consider our next plan of action. Part of that plan includes me, writing for a living and living within the means of my husband’s not so grand monthly company pension benefit.
I’m fifty-two years of age, what the hell am I thinking? My kids don’t get it. Lots of our family and friends don’t get it, but we get it. We are getting off the merry-go-round. We’re starting over and we’re doing it our way.
We didn’t get where we are because we’re stupid, or dishonest (quite the opposite in fact), or lazy, but I am a realist – I think. The old plan wasn’t working. We had to come up with a new one. A simpler one. One that allowed us to live our lives on our own terms. We also needed to seriously look at how we wanted to deal with looming retirement. After many looong, sleepless nights and even more looong talks over coffee each morning, we decided to follow our dreams. I wanted to write, not work long hours at a commissioned sales job for a bank. Here’s a lilttle secret: I’m not really very good corporate material. I ask questions, I care about the little people and will fight for their rights, I treat people fairly and honestly, and I’m not run by the company. Okay, I get it. I was very good at my job, but suck at commissioned sales. As for my husband, well, he’s still trying to decide what he wants to do when he grows up, which is fine with me, because I can’t make those decisions for him – any more than he could for me.
One of the bonuses I’m discovering, is time. I now have time to think, to really plan, to notice what matters to me. I get to spend time with my husband and my family. I am reconnecting with people who are important to me. Most importantly, I’m re-connecting with myself. I think that’s important too. I write every day. I spend a lot of time learning the business of book publishing and am slowing getting more confident. I’m feeling my way along, braille method, as I traverse this road toward becoming a bonifide, published writer.
I’m also learning something else. I was right when I was ten. I love to write, but it’s a lot of work. For the first time in my life, I feel ready to tackle the job and learn the lessons. I don’t have the educational background in English, or journalism, having finished school mid way through grade twelve, but I still think I’m smart. Smart enough to take the time to learn the ropes. Smart enough to have fun along the way now. Smart enough to know only I can make it happen. It feels as if my whole life I’ve done what I had to, what was needed to be done, but there was always that little kernel of knowledge in my head and in my heart that said “you’re a writer”…so now, I write.
I welcome any who wish to join me on the road to discovery. Feel free to share your love of reading, writing and life in general. If you are an author, publisher or anyone with an interest in books, and have some tips and tricks you’d like to share with others, please don’t hesitate. From time to time I’ll also post reviews of books I’ve just read. If you are a fan – you’re my favourite kind of person. lol
Seriously, my goal is to educate, share information and a few laughs, and have fun with it.
I do, however, expect common courtesy, respect for all who post on this forum, and a willingness to share their love of life, the written word, as well as the business of bringing words and stories out into the light of day to be shared by all. Welcome.