How I Became a Writer
Actually the title of this piece should be ‘How to Avoid a Complete Mental Breakdown 101.’
I have to admit it, I am one of those people who has definite issues with the word ‘no’. I never seem to be able to say it when asked to do obnoxiously big jobs that no one else wants to do. Unfortunately, as an educator, administrations love to find folks just like me and believe me, they tag us quickly. I’m pretty sure there is one of those pieces of paper taped to my back that says ‘Sucker–ask her.”
Over my years as a teacher, I’ve done the yearbook, been a class sponsor for six years, organized and run both the student and teacher book clubs, served as a mentor for new teachers, written the school newsletter and about a gazillion other things, too many to list!
The worst year hit about six years ago when all my ‘yes’ answers led me to the verge of a complete and utter nervous breakdown. My ‘sure, I’ll do that’ attitude somehow had me putting on a prom and a regional conference for librarians in the same month–May. The preparation for both these events was overwhelming, to say the least, and the stress led to insomnia.
During the wee hours of the morning, I began writing. Writing a book had always been my secret dream and I’ve had characters and stories running around in my head since I was a child. When my mind wouldn’t let me sleep, I decided to put all the worries about my real life away and used the time to bring my fictional world to life. Every night for months, I wrote and wrote and wrote. May eventually came and went, prom and the conference went off without a hitch, but by then I’d been bitten by the writing bug. I finished the first novel (100K words of crap!) and moved onto the second (95K words, only slightly less crappy) but I kept going and going (picture the Energizer bunny here).
Eventually, the books seemed less lousy and I sent one in. EROTIC RESEARCH was published! I still use my writing as a way to manage stress, but most days I write for the sheer pleasure of it.
Have I learned my lesson about biting off more than I can chew, you might ask? Heck NO!