Three years ago, I made three major decisions in my lifetime: 1. To take a year off from teaching 2. To write my first blog post thanks to a friend who had done the same 3. Enlisted for my first creative writing class of my life. It was freeing and scary and delicious and bitter.
I wanted to write for many years, but lacked the confidence and feared that no one would care about what I had to say. The first few months I remember complaining to N about my blog stats being so low. He reminded me that no one could read it, if no one knew about it. Then, I took the plunge and linked this blog to my Facebook page. I was oh so scared of what others would say or think in their safe homes about my writing. Maybe they’d think, who does she think she is or there’s nothing good here. Then, I got my two faithful followers who carried me through my first year of blogging–EBS and KC. These two awesome friends read every post and commented on almost every one. It’s all I needed to keep going. Slowly I gained confidence. I remember when a couple of my work friends asked me about my blog. It was exciting and scary, and I continued–addicted to that feeling of getting a comment from a friend or acquaintance or fellow blogger who felt a connection to my writing.
That September, I walked into my first creative writing class in Pimmit Hills. Little did I know that I would meet three writers who would carry me through my tough days of doubt. Karen, Katie, Kristen. The K’s and I quickly formed a writing circle in an effort to finish our novels. Each of us with our dreams hanging heavy above our heads. Each with a completely different writing style. We critiqued the work and wrote and wrote and wrote. We drank and wrote and talked and wrote. We got disciplined and lazy and motivated and slipped away from it at times thanks to life. One of us moved off to Chicago. Another had a baby. Yet we persevered towards the ultimate dream as a writers: to get published.
The K’s allowed me to grow as a writer. I became even more confident. I allowed myself to hang out there for everyone to read mistakes and all. Reading each of their pieces informed my writing. It motivated me every time we met to keep writing more than anything else. You see the hardest part of this writing thing is to keep going even when you feel like everything you put out is shit, even when you doubt yourself completely. When you do that, persevere that is, it forces you to grow and pushes you through that tunnel. Eventually you experience the light. It comes without warning, after long periods of hard work.
All this time, one of the K’s motivated me the most. Karen, a fellow blogger, whom I’d like to say I had a bit of ownership over her birth as a blogger. Although, if you ever read her writing pre-blogging, you would see that her destiny was to end up as a blogger with or without a gentle nudge. Karen is our pride and joy. She burst onto the blogging scene a couple years ago. The blogging community immediately responded to her humor and genuine storytelling. Her energy and drive are the envy of me for sure. I wonder when she sleeps because she does it all–full time job and blogs, and hosts a podcast, and continues to plug away on a novel.
Every time I sit down with her, I can’t help but with infected with her enthusiasm for writing. I am always re-energized and ready to write after a short talk with her and the K’s in general. The four of us walk with the same roots dangling. A reminder of where we came from. I remember the teacher of that writing class saying: “It takes at least three years to finish a novel.” I can finish it in one, I remember thinking. I remember thinking there’s no way it’ll take me that long. Three years have passed and wouldn’t you know the novel is still in the works. It is not finished, still in the revision/drafting phase. I plug away hoping that someday I’ll finish and then someday in the farther future, I may actually send it off to possibly get published.
This week Karen’s book: Good Luck With That Thing Your Doing: One Woman’s Adventures in Dating, Plumbing and Other Full Contact Sports, was released on Amazon! One of us is published. Now if you watched Author’s Anonymous, you will think that the rest of us are sitting around pinning in jealousy wishing our novel would have been published. However, we are the type of friends that genuinely sit with pride. I am excited and proud and motivated. It makes me want to write, write, write. Celebrating her success is a great reminder that success does come. Sometimes after three years. Sometimes farther down the road when you may not expect it. Other times when you invite it into your life. So, thank you Miz Yank for this lovely reminder!