It began with a “What if” and now, I’m 100 pages into answering that question. That’s how writing a story, short or novel length has always started for me. The long answer to a two-word question.When I started blogging two years ago, I never thought I would have had the experiences I have had since then. My first 20 posts no one saw except my family and possibly the people on my Facebook page. Scared at first, I figured I sucked and no one would want to read my mindless drivel. That’s when I stumbled across a Facebook Community called Bloppy Bloggers. I love my Bloppies. They were my first tribe and the information I learned from every member is beyond measure. They are such an awesome community and it was there that I was encouraged to spread my writing out further.
I joined a few other pages and got up the nerve to share my work with Mamapedia. They were the first to accept my work and publish it on their page. It was there and through BlogHer and SITs that I received my first followers and more praise for my writing. After almost one year of blogging, I went to my first blogging conference, BlogU. At that conference, a seed was planted. I can remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday, our Moderator, standing at the podium and saying, “You need to find your purpose, why you blog and stick to it. Whatever everyone else is doing doesn’t matter.” That rolled around in my head for months. I wasn’t blogging to make money, in fact I was offered many a sponsored post and turned it down because I just didn’t feel like doing it. I wanted to write, I wanted to walk into a Barnes and Noble and see my book on the shelf. That, was my end game.
I started writing flash fiction at first. Posting what I wrote on my blog page and another site called Yeah Write. The amazing thing for me was that people responded, they wanted more and it surprised the hell out of me. A year later, I took a chance and submitted two chapters of a novel I had started. Then I waited and waited. I could say I did all that waiting patiently but that would be a horrible lie and my blog is all about honesty. I was miserable, I don’t do the waiting game well at all and if I’m going to ever be a writer, patience is going to have to become one of my virtues.
When I got accepted to the Yale Writer’s Conference, I actually cried. I never thought they would accept me, their program is ranked in the top 5 in the Country. The universe has always been against me. Or, at least it’s felt that way. My grandmother used to always say, “Eventually, the sun will shine on a dog’s ass.” I never really got that saying as a child and I’m not sure I do now but I think it means that every dog has its day.
After the key-note speech in New Haven, I was immediately intimidated. There were people who
had been there multiple times and here I am, the new girl. I had no idea how to workshop a piece. Even more intimidating, meeting one on one with our writer/professor for a critique of our piece. I was definitely stress eating at our breakfast meeting. I had eggs, potatoes, French toast, an everything bagel covered in butter, bacon, and strawberries. I mostly had the fruit there so I would seem like I was healthy. It was there for garnish only.
As we went through the piece, I sat there thinking, I’m sitting across from a New York Times best-selling novelist, a professor of writing at a pretty damn good university and he’s seriously about to burst because he’s so excited about something I’ve written. He gave me tons of ideas and plenty of advice but the most important thing he gave me, I doubt he was even aware of, confidence. If my confidence as a writer was compared to a house, D most definitely laid the foundation but it was Ben Winters who bricked up the walls. Before that day, I never thought I could do this, I couldn’t be a writer. It was just a hobby, something I did to entertain my friends and family. That’s what writing was for me from the age of 7 until 35. That day in New Haven over a plate of every breakfast food imaginable, I became a writer and I believed in myself.
And now, I’m crying.
I get emotional when I think about that morning because I have never believed in myself. I damn sure never thought I was really good at anything besides making adorable kids. The rest of my days at Yale, I spent developing my new self, my writer self and I swear I came home using the full 10% of my brain. Maybe, even .5% more (Look, I can do math now, see I told you I was smarter).
Now, that I’m back, with my New Haven experience behind me. It’s time to put pen to paper, fingers to keys and start writing. That, my dear followers, is easier said than done most days.
But, I promised you a surprise so here it is: Scattered Wrecks Fiction. It’s my new site and it’s about the ups and downs of writing, all the great things I learned at Yale, and my stories. (You see that Oxford Comma usage back there, you can thank Yale for that.) I’ll still write at the blog but that will be for all the non-writing related stuff. If you’re already following me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, all that will stay the same. You’ll see updates for both sites there. I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey and as always, thanks for reading and I appreciate your support : )