I can still remember Mrs. McNeal, my high school english teacher, telling me I needed to drop all other life plans and pursue writing as a career. I thought she was crazy. College professors echoed her advice. "You really must," they said. I never could understand how they thought I was going to afford to eat by doing that. There are very few jobs that pay a person for creative writing and I sure as heck did not want to pursue technical writing -- I would rather eat worms.
They would argue with me, telling me I was wasting my talent. I would argue in return explaining that I really liked pizza and it was expensive. Besides, what would I write about? I was young, unexperienced and, frankly, quite stupid. I felt I needed to be inspired to write. I thought real writers already had all that inspiration inside of them, oozing out their pores. I did not understand that it was something you could work at -- develop over time. I guess I never considered that real writers did research, which in turn sparked the inspiration. I chose a different career.
Fast-forward a number of years, we won't say exactly how many, and here I am thinking maybe they knew what they were talking about. I attended a writer's conference yesterday. A historical fiction conference specifically. I walked out afterward thinking, "Sure, I can do that. No problem."
(insert sound of brakes screeching here)
Let me say that again, because I doubt you caught the significance. I walked out thinking, "Sure, I can do that. No problem." Note the confidence. I walked out thinking I could write a novel. A whole novel. Like as in, wa-ha-hay more words than blog post. For me, that is huge. Just like most other writers, I have always lacked the confidence to feel I could actually do it. Until yesterday. For whatever reason something clicked. I felt totally in my element. I even knew what my story was.
I have assigned days on my calendar to write and do research. I am going to do this. It won't be done by the end of next month. Maybe not even next year. But I am going to do this. I have joined a writers workshop, a group of writers who share critiques and editing -- peer pressure is always a good motivator. I'm going to do this.
In the mean time, there is a new blog in town. It is called White River Farmhouse. You can find it if you click on my profile. It is empty right now and may stay that way for awhile. I make no promises. I intend to use it for tracking the details for the second novel. Yes, two. There will be no pictures of cute animals. No mention of what is going on in my world. Just fiction and research. The discarded scene that doesn't make it into the book might get rewritten for this blog. It probably won't be in chronological order and may or may not make any sense at all, but you are welcome to follow along and provide feedback if you so choose.
I am going to do this.