Until I was thirty-five, I never gave much thought to writing. Oh, I’d read a book and think, I could write a book like that. But that’s as far as it ever went.
…the year I turned thirty-five. That was when I started having trouble sleeping. Nights get very long when you toss and turn and stare at the ceiling. You check the clock and discover only ten minutes have passed. There were many nights when I fought the bed and the bed won.
Then, one night as I lay in bed with sleep eluding me, a man appeared in my bedroom staring out the window. Only it wasn’t really my bedroom window–it was his office window, and he was staring at smoke stacks belching gray and black clouds of smoke. He was an older man, and he turned to me and said, “I never meant for my life to turn out this way.”
Wow. I had to know more. And he began telling me his story until I’d finally fall asleep. I started looking forward to bedtime and actually hoped I couldn’t sleep. It was like my mind had been let loose. Because I didn’t know the first thing about writing, I never wrote his story down. But I remember bits and pieces of it now. How he started out in the steel mills and became a ruthless mill owner, married and had several children, none of whom had anything to do with him now that they were grown.
That man is the reason I started writing. At first, I wrote in long hand, telling the stories floating around in my head. It wasn’t long before I realized I needed help.
I subscribed to Writer’s Digest magazine and ordered craft books. Soon, I started typing a story on a portable Royal typewriter. When I finished the Snow Leopard, I sent it off to Woman’s World because I saw in Writer’s Digest that they accepted submissions. The article also gave their required word count–two thousand words. I estimated that my story had three or four thousand words, but I sent it in anyway.
The editor, Nancy McCarthy, bless her heart, bought that story and cut out the excess words. I was so excited. I bought myself an electric typewriter and knew getting a book contract was just around the corner. But that’s a story for another time.
Now I want to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me if you have ever wanted to be a writer, or are you happy being a reader?
Winners from last week’s posts are:
Janice Hopkins – Winner of A Promise to Protect
Sarah Ruut – winner of Dr. Richard Mabry’s book: Fatal Trauma