Ever Thought You’d Like to be a Writer?

Patricia Bradley Inspirational Fiction, Readers, Writing 18 Comments

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.

Writer1Until..

…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

Comments 18

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  1. Sandra Orchard

    Oh, what a great opening line for a book–“I never meant for my life to turn out this way.” So you have 2 more books to write, that man’s and the woman in bed (ur, you) who couldn’t sleep and became a writer! Ooh, the ideas are churning. 😀 Like you, I was in my late 30s when I decided I wanted to write fiction.

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      Patricia Bradley

      Sandra, would you believe I forgot that scene until recently? I’ve always said I started writing because these people came to live in my head when I couldn’t sleep, but I had completely blocked him out. And you’re right. I need to write at least one of those stories. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Nicole

    Reading has been part of my life ever since bed time stories. Now a book follows me wherever I go. My phone occasionally gets neglected when a book is in my hand. 🙂 I started getting curious about writing when a classmate of mine in 7th grade mentioned some stories she was writing. Thankfully, my writing has since ceased sounding like a bad run on. 🙂 I love to write. I’m a deep thinker, and ideas for stories expand in my head until I wrote it down. I think, ‘what if…’ Or ‘I could write about that idea…’ So far only my computer sees my stories, but somehow the dream of writing the next great American novel hasn’t quite gone away.

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  3. Elaine Stock

    Growing up with a mother who always read and made a delightful fuss of me getting my first library card, and an aunt who told the most marvelous verbal tales, I always seemed to write. By the age of 12 I aimed at becoming the next Neil Simon. Funny, since comedy isn’t my writing voice. Life intervened, and here I am today, writing away… but now with end results.

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  4. Steph

    Ms. Bradly, just wanted to pop by and say your books are absolutely terrible…for my sleep schedule! Even as I watched the hours tick by passing my bedtime and then quite some, I just couldn’t put the Logan Point books down. I’m so glad you discovered writing and can’t wait for your next book! At the risk of this comment becoming rambling, I want to add that I’m a huge romantic-suspense fan, the way you manage to weave faith into your stories so organically is inspiring and your books feel all the more real for it 🙂

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      Patricia Bradley

      You really had me going there, Steph! I’m so glad you are enjoying the Logan Point Series. I’m waiting for edits on the fourth book and working on a new series set in Memphis. It will deal with cold cases. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. M. Weidenbenner

    Pat – I loved this story. I’ve never heard it before. I’ve never heard of anyone being inspired in this way to write books. I’d love to get to know this “man” you spoke about. You should share the short story that was published in Women’s World. I’d love to read it.

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    Patricia Bradley

    Michelle, Woman’s World published three of my short stories and I’m going to make them all available if you are subscribed to my newsletter. The first one will be in September and it’s actually the last one they published. I haven’t put the other two in the computer yet. lol. And one day, I’ll write that “man” story. 🙂

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  7. Deb Smith

    I do not remember ever hearing you tell that story but, I loved The Snow Leopard. That was a great beginning to a great career, and maybe a way to enjoy my insomnia from now on.

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  8. gene

    I never enjoyed reading and surely never considered writing a book, but after my son was killed I started journaling; sometimes your journal is the only one willing to listen. After nearly twenty years I was encouraged to write my story. Today I have not only published my memoir I regularly write stories for my blog. Even more surprising is that I have grown to love reading, especially short stories and blogs. Who would have thunk-it!

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    Patricia Bradley

    I’m so glad you’ve come to enjoy reading! I’ve loved it since I learned to read the Sunday comics. Reading can take you places you never believed existed. And I’m so glad you started journaling and wrote a memoir. Thanks for stopping by Gene!

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