And now on to the guest post!
I Write Because…
There are probably as many endings to this sentence as there are writers. I write because I can’t not write and I know that for a fact.
I discovered my love for writing after I was married with children. You see, I was born into a giving family. There were always gifts shared at Christmas and birthdays. Gifts were exchanged even on Easter, Valentine’s day, and for no reason at all. I’d learned the joy of giving as a child, but my husband and I couldn’t afford to participate in this family tradition in any grand way. So I began making greeting cards for special occasions and for special people—personalized with my attempt at poetry. Not only were they well-received, I was having an absolute blast creating them. I especially enjoyed writing the little poems. Who knew? Writing was not particularly interesting to me in school. Growing up, I wanted to be a dress designer.
When my three daughters were still small, my grandmother was involved in an accident while traveling in another state and had to stay in a hospital there for quite a while. I began writing to her—entertaining her with the antics of my children and sharing family news. Her encouragement spurred me on and I started writing stories to read to my girls. I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of the writing process. I even enjoyed writing to-do lists, our weekly menu, and I started contributing little thoughts and prose to minor publications. It was then that I knew I wanted to write articles for magazines.
Why nonfiction tickled my fancy, I’m not sure. But my reading taste at the time was for nonfiction—give-me-the-facts-ma’am type books and articles. For the next eight or ten years, I studied the magazines I wanted to write for and I subscribed to every writers’ magazine I could find.
Finally, I felt the time was right for me to write for publication. My daughters were in junior high school when I wrote and submitted my first article. It was quickly accepted, as were the several articles that followed. I was living my dream and I was doing so in a corner of my bedroom on a TV tray using a manual typewriter! It was 1973, after all, before the luxury of the computer.
For years, I supported myself writing article for a wide variety of publications, both regional and national. Along the way, I also wrote a few books. I have 49 to my credit as of this writing.
I said earlier that I can’t not write—and this premise was tested big-time early in my career. Something happened in my life that made it necessary for me to get a job outside the home. What a sad, sad day. I just wasn’t bringing in enough money to support the family on my own. The job wasn’t bad, as jobs go. It was close to home, in a wonderful environment, with great coworkers, and it involved some writing. But I yearned to write on my own terms—to continue exploring the topics I was interested in. One day during my early-morning meditation walk, I lamented inwardly about how much I missed writing. That’s when I realized that I had to figure out a way to write no matter what else was going on in my life. It was just that important to me.
So I started getting up at four every morning and I would write for two hours. Then I’d take my walk and get ready for work. I also wrote on weekends. Believe it or not, I wrote an entire book (now on an electric typewriter) in eight months. I was elated. But I still wanted more.
I realized that if I could complete a book by writing just two hours a day, I could probably build my article-writing business to the point that I could quit my job. And within another eight months, I did just that.
Twenty-eight years later, I’m still following my writing dreams and I have more passion for writing than ever—it seems to grow. I still get up every morning around four and spend most of my day writing. I also work with other authors on their book projects.
I believe that every independent entrepreneur needs to reevaluate the direction their business is heading occasionally. And yes, if you expect your writing to support you either full-or part-time, it must be considered a business. During my evaluations, I reflect on what I am currently producing, what aspects of my business are paying and which ones I enjoy most—teaching, public speaking, working with other authors, article work, book-writing, etc. Using these criteria, I make adjustments.
As I mature, I pay attention especially to what feeds my soul. And it was three years ago during my birthday month that I decided to give myself the gift of the time and space to try writing fiction. I’d been editing fiction works for clients and discovered that I had a knack for it. I’d begun a love affair with reading light mysteries. Then and there, I decided to write a cozy mystery and the Klepto Cat Mystery series was created.
I am having so much fun using a completely different part of my brain to create these stories. And since the shift from nonfiction to fiction, I’m more in love with the writing process than ever.
Why do I write? I seem to have an obsession with words and the way they go together to get a message across. By the way, I’m a Gemini. Aren’t we supposed to be writers? I know we like to communicate. Thankfully, I’m grounded enough that I can manage the business aspects of my writing career as well as the creative ones.
If you aren’t sure you’re doing what you should be doing…the work or, perhaps, a hobby that is truly a passion…listen to your heart. If you can’t wait each day to pursue the activity, if your heart sings while you’re writing, crafting, teaching, designing, gardening, etc., you are most definitely where you should be at this moment.
Patricia Fry is the author of 49 books, and counting. She just published the 9th in the Klepto Cat Mystery series, Mansion of Meows. The Klepto Cat Mysteries are light, fun cozy mysteries full of adventure, intrigue, and a little romance. They feature Rags, an ordinary cat who just can’t keep his paws off other people’s things. Often, the treasures he finds are clues in a mystery. Follow Rags’s fascinating life path from when he and Savannah were single and he roamed the neighborhood stealing everything from toys belonging to large dogs to jewelry and bathing suits.Rags and Savannah don’t stay single long. After meeting Michael, a handsome veterinarian, Savannah settles down, but the cat doesn’t change his thieving ways. Even though his kleptomaniac habit is annoying and embarrassing to his family, he has earned the respect of the local sheriff’s department and he was even asked to star in a documentary. See all nine books here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2
To learn more about Patricia, visit her websites and blog sites:
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