I didn’t get that right away. When I was researching my first novel, someone asked me what I was doing. There I was, head down, taking copious notes while walking with a tour through Indian City, USA in Anadarko, OK. She probably thought I was mentally off by the time I shyly muttered, “I’m a writer–researching a new book.”
My friend nudged me teasingly, “Now was that so hard?” “Yes,” I answered. “It was!” I mean, at that time, I wasn’t a published author, so I felt a bit dishonest saying I was a writer. She told me, “Writers write. Do you write?” “Constantly,” I admitted. “Then you’re a writer,” she explained. “It’s about time you started believing that.”
So now I have five books published, and one to be released this year–and several more written, but not published yet. So why do I feel like a fraud when I tell people I’m a writer? For one thing, I’m not a famous writer, nor do I make enough money to support myself with writing, nor do I have any bestsellers to my credit. I want to be Jessica Fletcher—only without the frequent murders of all my best friends and acquaintances.
Yet, from my earliest memories I’ve been a writer. When I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade I started writing short stories and poetry. I served on the newspaper staff at school, and then on the creative writing staff. The writing never stopped as I studied creative writing in college. My head was so full of stories and ideas that I felt an urgency to get them out onto paper. Guess what! I still do. At this point, I believe I have at least another dozen books in my head—at various stages of “cooking.”
Writing is the loveliest form of expression to me. When speaking, I sometimes struggle to find the right words, or stumble over them once I do find them. Writing puts my thoughts where I can see them, edit them and approve of them before sending them out into the universe.
Frequently I advise people to write down their thoughts, goals and dreams. It’s cathartic, for one thing. My BFF and I journal to each other. She hears my thoughts and activities on a daily basis, and I hear hers. No one knows me better than she does. No one knows her better than I. Writing to her every day is therapeutic—getting it all out, venting, encouraging, praising, counseling, confessing, sharing my heart with her. She knows everything—the funny, sad, embarrassing and marvelous things, events and people that make up my life.
It’s hard to convince myself that anyone but her would ever care to read my ramblings. But I’m told they will. So come back and see how I’m doing. Join me as I seek to entertain, console, instruct, inform and encourage through this marvelous means of expression—WRITING!