Goal Setting November 2010
So it’s Halloween 2010. About 13 years ago this month I had surgery because of a cancer scare and realized I hadn’t written a word for pleasure since I started college in 1988. Before that time I wrote constantly. I filled spirals with teen romances for my friends to read. I loved books and more than anything I wanted to see my name on a spine of a novel.
I majored in English and journalism at MSU and promptly forgot those dreams until my favorite college professor, Dr. Hoffman, had us write something creative for an upper level class a semester or two before I graduated. I wrote a play about kids in high school trying out for a play. I don’t remember much more about the script other than there was this telephone call Dr. Hoffman called creative. I wrote the script at night in an apartment with my baby daughter. She was supposed to be sleeping. She had her first “big girl bed.” I decorated her room in 101 Dalmations and Barney. One early morning while I was working on a Romeo and Juliet paper I heard a noise over the hum of my word processor and looked at her closed bedroom door. All looked fine, but I heard the noise again, so I went investigating. DD had pushed her Barney blanket against the door so I couldn’t see her light. She was sitting in her humidifier with a Barbie. When I opened the door, her response was to tell me she and Barbie were swimming.
She was 2.
That kind of thing was pretty normal for DD, so I didn’t get a lot of writing done when she was a baby either.
After I graduated, I started teaching, and once again, I buried the lure of fiction. I got married, started advising the school newspaper and forgot about my dreams and instead encouraged the dreams of some amazing teenagers who constantly floored me with their talent.
And then the cancer scare.
When that happened, all my dreams came roaring back to life. The week the doctor made me take off turned into the beginning of my first real book.
For five years I wrote and submitted consistently. I got great feedback and made great writing friends. I rode with good friends to multiple national writing conferences. I made a best friend at my school who also loved romances and writing.
And then, I don’t know exactly why, I slowly stopped writing.
I still belonged to my writing groups. I still religiously posted on eHarlequin. But I wasn’t creating anymore. Well, not exactly wasn’t. I’d write a story every couple years, but there was no real work on the craft. No real excitement. I immersed myself in my work. It’s funny looking back now because when I stopped writing, I actually screwed my priorities up even more than they were before.
Now my priorities are straight. God first, family second, then the job. But the creative me needs an outlet, too.
I want to write. I need to write. I need to figure out WHAT I want to write. It’s a weird place to be. It’s a place I’ve been in ever since DD left for school. Then she moved back home and whoo, that’s been an experience.
When I first started writing, I remember someone telling me I needed to live a little to actually find my stories. Well, I’ve lived now. I hope my stories can find readers.