So many times, as an author, I question myself why. Why do I put myself through the grueling process of writing? The long and short answer to this question is because it’s part of who I am.
Being a writer was part of the very fabric of who I was from a very young age. I remember writing crazy stories and reading them aloud to my grandmother who always encouraged my gift. It was something I enjoyed doing. Something that made being painfully shy a little easier. In my stories, I could fashion myself into anything or anyone I wanted. It was powerful stuff, and it was addictive.
Fast forward twenty-some years and my writing had taken a back seat to other things in
my life. I was a new mom, and my daughter took up ninety-nine percent of my time. But then the itch began again. I picked up a pen and started writing notes for a new story. It was amazing to me that I felt calmer in those few stolen minutes a day (no easy task with a newborn).
I finally completed a rough draft, but it sat on my shelf collecting dust for a few more years. Another baby and several setbacks in life and I had all but given up on ever seeing that dream of mine realized. But then a friend of mine urged me to take a chance. So, I sent in that (very) rough draft. It was rejected at first, but I was told what needed to be done to improve it. I soaked up every bit of that advice and applied it to my writing.
I managed to get three books published. It was a feeling I could never properly describe. But behind that elation was a darkness that was beginning to take control of me. If I’d realized my dream (three times over), why was I so unhappy?
And then I began to write again. The words flowed from me like they never had before. I
related to these characters more than any I’d ever written. But again, I questioned why.
It took me a while to answer that. But the truth is, I could relate to the characters so much because I was them. Writing their story was like cracking open my deepest, darkest secrets and pouring hem onto a page. Writing their story gave me the strength to say I wasn’t okay. And there’s power in admitting that.
To me, writing will always be a form of therapy. It’s getting lost in a world where I can still be anything and anyone—even if only for a little while.
Writing only works when you’ve lived. That’s the point at which you have something to say.