As I sit down to write this, I think to myself, “What are you thinking? You don’t know how to blog. You’re a new writer, what do you have to share?” My gut fills with the fear of failure and I feel sick inside. What would I tell my children to do in this situation? Feel the fear but do it anyway. So, big breath, here I go.
Like many writers, my writing has always been my hidden dream, my greatest wish and my biggest fear. If my life is a candle and the flame is my dream of writing, then I have kept this dream shut away and covered the flame with my hand so that no one would see nor realize my greatest wish. I hid my flame with my hand and slowly over time its heat began to burn. Burn brighter and bigger until the pain of keeping it hidden was greater than my fear. So, I decide to step out on faith instead of living in fear and follow my dream.
At first, I surrounded myself with a core of believers in my dream. My mother, my children, my husband and a few chosen friends. They are my greatest cheerleaders. My flame was weak and I didn’t need any one to carelessly or maliciously snuff out my hopes. I shared with them my goals and together we made a game plan. What would I need to be successful in my writing? Writing space, quality writing time, writing tools, education, mentors, and a writing forum.
Writing space for me is my dining room. My family and I pushed our dining table into a corner in front of the window, placed my computer on it, threw a dry erase board on the wall, pulled in some bookcases and purchased a comfortable rolling chair. To insure quality writing time, my husband put doors on the room and handed me his shooting ear protection for when the kids were loud. My kids plastered the room with stickies saying, “We believe in you!”, “Keep it up!”, “Get in here and write!” and “You’ve got talent!” My daughter placed a cup on the desk that holds pencils and cheers when the table is jarred. I love being in this room.
My girls and I went to my favorite place to shop. Staples. We purchased pens, pencils, markers, stickies, paper, spiral notebooks and index cards. I use a lot of 5×8 spiral notebooks. I like to start writing on paper until the ideas are flowing and then transfer to the computer. I jot down phrases in these books to insure I do not forget them.
Now, I had the tools to write but was still not sure about the process of getting from idea, to completed manuscript, to published book. I needed an education. So, I purchased books and began poring over the ins and outs of writing. One of the smartest things I did was join a writing group. I joined Romance Writers of America and attended RWA’s national writing conference in Florida. My first time was like getting an associates degree in writing with the opportunity for higher learning at each conference. I joined the Virginia Romance Writers and the Washington Romance Writers to continue my education on a monthly basis. Through these organizations I am blessed with education, friends and mentors. I was given the opportunity to join this wonderful group of women writers at waterworldmermaids.com because I attended the WRW convention.
Now I have a place to connect to other women writers and surround myself with supportive mentors. Women who have been where I am now. Women who realize if you let your flame burn bright it will guide you out of the dark. The more you cultivate and nourish your flame, the brighter it burns until it not only guides you but guides others too.