What is your first memory of writing? How old were you when you knew that writing was more than just words, but something that developed from your soul?
I’ve heard authors talk about writing since childhood. Some took writing classes in high school and most had college courses because by then they knew they wanted to be a writer or author. But me, my story started later in life and not in the traditional way. Since my new novel has recently come out, I thought I’d share my personal journey with you.
I will confess to dabbling at poetry in high school. It was a way to get my feelings and confusion about adolescence out. I didn’t keep a diary so my poems filled the void. My first short story that I remember – I wrote a story in first grade that was put into some kind of contest but I don’t remember much about it. – was in tenth grade. I had Saturday detention, as I sat in class for two hours with nothing to do I decided to write a short story about an ax murder. The slasher movies were big in the 80’s.
Besides these little writing stints my dreams of being an author never fully materialized until years later. At twenty-seven I was pregnant with my third child. But something happened the night before I went into labor and she died. As the despair descended on me in the hospital room, the nurse suggested that I keep a journal to help with the grieving process. Although I thought it a dumb idea at the time, it didn’t take long before I was willing to try anything to help me regain my life.
So with my heartache to guide me I started journaling about the pain I felt. This is when words and writing clicked for me. I soon fell in love with writing. But the big turning point was at the age of 30 – two years after my daughter had died – that my writing evolved from journaling about my pain and grief to plotting out my first romance novel.
Although my plot did involve the personal journey I’d travelled, I couldn’t help but feel invigorated at watching my characters come to life. I also found it therapeutic putting my personal pain into the thoughts and actions of my characters.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say I don’t wish my Megan were here with me. I’ve missed her every single day for the past 15 years, but I will admit to finding a joy in my writing that I would have missed without her death.
I believe the Lord works everything out for good – even bad things. So I hope you walk away with inspiration rather than feeling sorry for me. I turned my tragedy into triumph and put my heart and soul into my new release.
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