At one time or another, most avid readers think about writing a book. If it’s a great book, they dream of writing as well or better than the one they’ve just read. If it’s a poorly penned book, it’s “I could have written that.” Either way, hundreds – maybe millions of people aspire to become an author at one time or another in their lives.
I am no different. My first book (which was really, really bad) was inspired by old western movies, starring my childhood heroes. The classic ones – Matt Dillon, the Duke, Clint Eastwood.
Now that you know where my mind goes, it will be no surprise that my first literary endeavor told the story of two sisters, traveling to Oregon on a wagon train. Their father dies midway through the journey, and no single women are allowed. Too much chaos. Too much drama. Females need a man to take care of them, at least back in those days. The girls have to find husbands…fast. After a lot of this and that, they do. The point is, whatever captures your fancy can be a start. Your passion inspires your creativity.
Loving movies the way I do, I began to dream in scenes, in technicolor, with background music to enhance the story. Each writer develops a unique way of creating his or her story. The plot, the characters, the pacing, and for a writer of romance, a guaranteed happily ever after became a part of my vocabulary.
Once the idea popped into my brain, the concept took over my life. I wrote late at night, in stolen moments during the day, when I should have been cleaning my house, or doing the laundry. I wrote in my mind while I mopped the floor, while the television blared a boring show, when I closed my eyes at night to sleep. Writing or thinking about writing became the focus of my existence.
So, I purchased a spiral notebook and found my favorite pen and began. Three months later, I had written my first book. Was it good? The only way to know was to have someone who knew what they were doing read it. I joined a writer’s group and entered a contest. That’s how I found out how bad the book was. It was full of repetitive words, skipping points of view, and the grammar? Forget about the rules I learned in the dark ages about commas and quotation marks and apostrophes.
But, you know what? I couldn’t stop. Writing became as much a part of me as my love for my family, or the way a piece of chocolate soothes my irritable moods, or the way the beauty of the mountains or the seashore or the dusty rock formations of the west lift my spirits and enrich my life.
Somewhere along the journey, I developed a writer’s soul. I thought I could write a book. So, I did.