Several people have brought up the fact that I am writing more.
And I love it.
But, it is due more to happenstance than the desire to write. I have always wanted to write more. Writing has lived deep inside of me for a long time. To give you a bit of history, I wrote my first book when I was in 4th grade. It was titled, The Cherry People. I still have it in a file. Hopefully someday I will get it published. The Cherry People was about a boy and girl who went on a picnic one summer afternoon. They brought along a jar of cherries and some toothpicks. For fun, the brother and sister created little people out of cherries and the people came to life after the two children went off to play.
The cherry people had many adventures. Mostly dangerous tales of kayaking the tumultuous rain run off on their make-shift leaf boats or near death experiences with Doodles the dog.
The Cherry People wasn’t an original story. My grandpa would tell us adventures of the Cherry People at bedtime when we stayed overnight at his house. He would sit on the foot of the bed and tell us long stories in his deep voice and thick southern draw. Just as your eye-lids would get heavy, something exciting would happen to the Cherry People, and you would have to stir yourself awake to hear more.
When my parents would tell us stories, we would beg them for more, but not my grandpa. His stories went on and on and on until eventually we would fall asleep listening to him talk. They seemed like entire novels, when I am sure they only lasted a good 7 minutes. He added the smallest details, like how exactly the bother and sister assembled the cherry people each time they picnicked, and how the Cherry People would stretch their arms and legs as life slowly came back to them.
I laid on my pillow, breathing in the sweet musty smell of their 1920’s home and conjure up a way to find a jar of cherries and an unlimited supply of toothpicks. But, when morning came, I forgot about the Cherry People.
My first book
When I wrote my book in the fourth grade, my teacher let me read it to the class. I illustrated it and everything. Everyone was really impressed with my hard work and artistic ability, but not so much with the Cherry People. I thought for sure that they would want to devise a plan to make their own Cherry People, but they didn’t. They continued to weave their own keychains and laugh at their own Beavis and Butt-head jokes.
I took my book home and put it in a drawer.
Deflated but not defeated
As I got older, I began to journal. Writing more and more about the hopes and dreams and desperate life I lead as a preteen. I filled journal after journal, some with locks and keys and some just plain composition books I was given at school. My journal stayed tucked safely under my mattress to protect it from the public.
I am not sure where my journals ended up. It is probably in the trash because I am not sentimental. I throw away most things that are semi-important. I am so curious what I wrote now that I am adult.
An old habit might not die hard
Words pulse through my veins on the daily. If they don’t flow out, I don’t know how to function. Mostly I fill journals and then tuck them away, thinking someday when I die my daughter can read them. (Because I know my boys won’t care. Because… boys?) I always said that authors are more exciting in their writing than in real life. This is probably true for me, although I wish it weren’t.
I tried to pursue writing once. Well, sorta. I met with a literary agent to ask a few questions. The first words out of his mouth was, “How many followers do you have?”. I didn’t really have an answer for him.
Followers? “Ehh, three children follow me around all day, so… 3??”
After that question, our conversation seemed to flatline. In one sentence he took out a pin and popped all the balloons to my hopes and dreams.
I fall victim to wet blankets too easily. Self-admittedly, I let people deflate me with one sideways comment or an off-the-cuff remark. Words that mean nothing to them, often have great impact on me. It is a barrier that I am going to have to tear down; letting random strangers dictate my path.
So, here I am today. I have no yard work, no “job”, no graduate school, no pile of close friends to meet up with. Time to write has suddenly appeared. This is sacred space, because I know if it isn’t claimed quickly, some other form of “work” will fill it up.
So, this year I am going to write. I am going to write the children’s book I have dreamt of since 4th grade. It might not be The Cherry People, but if it is… great! We will see what comes.
I am going to find an agent and I am going to publish my work. Finally, I am committed to “give it a go” and see what happens. Maybe I will write more than children’s books, who knows. But, the writing, I will do!
Writing has nipped at my heels for far to long. Life is too short to shoo away your dreams. It is now or never. The Lord places a desire in our hearts for a reason, and when it is coupled with ability, the only thing you can do is trust the it was placed within you for a purpose. Maybe this is the path I was meant to walk, but I didn’t have the courage before.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(PSSSSS…Follow me on Facebook so I can tell an agent that I have “followers” please!! 😉 haha, I kid. Follow at your own desire! )