Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Spark

The spark that started my dream of becoming a published writer happened when I was in sixth grade. My school was having a short story contest and my language arts teacher made everyone in our class enter. While some kids moaned and complained, quite a few of us really got into our stories. I remember sitting in small groups in class with a few of my friends coming up with ideas. Anyway, to make a long story short, I actually won the grand prize! Can you imagine my shock? I was a lowly sixth grader compared to all of the older junior high kids, and I won. That was the very first time that I remember thinking Hey, I could do this for a living!

Flash forward to my college years. I was one of those students who started out as an undeclared major and I stayed that way for almost two years. Why? I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't want to be an English major because (I thought, in my ignorance) you could only teach high school English. I was terrified at the thought of teaching high school because I looked like I was barely out of high school myself. So, I went from one major to another, completely clueless, and eventually became an elementary teacher (after only five years of college, no less).

Flash forward again to one month ago. I'm now a stay at home mom, I'm 33 years old, and my husband is tired of hearing me complain about wanting to be a writer. After all, I've wanted it since I was 11. He told me if I wanted to be a writer then I need to write something. Yeah, I wanted to be a writer for what seems like forever, but I haven't written anything in YEARS. I think it's because of fear. Fear of failure. Fear that what I write will suck. Fear that nobody will like what I write. But I've come to realize that if I don't write I will be miserable. This past month that I've been working on my book has been amazing. I love my family and my life dearly, but something has been missing for years, and I've found it. I just wish that I had started sooner.

So, what was the spark that started you down the path of writing? How long have you been writing?


  1. My story really isn't all that different. I've known from a young age that I liked to write and that I had stories floating around in my head.
    But I got caught up in the rest of my life. I got married, had children, developed a career, etc. Only in the last few months have I returned to writing with serious intent. I've penned a thing or two between THEN and NOW, but now, I feel teh fire. I REALLY want to make this happen.
    Good luck to you!

  2. I started writing two years ago, mostly because I needed a new hobby. Immediately after I started I decided I ought to shoot for a goal, so I (naively) decided I'd try to get published. It's been a fun couple years. I've learned a lot, written a lot, and the publishing dream doesn't seem quite so distant anymore.

  3. Hello Melane! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) I can't wait to share this journey with you. It's madness, isn't it? I love it.

    I've been writing since I could remember and all I ever wanted to be was an author. However, I put the pen down to pursue "real jobs" (fatherly advice) but then didn't even pursue those. I started writing more in earnest last year around this time when my son was born.

    Best Wishes :)

  4. My story is similar to yours, except I ended up majoring in Accounting. I gave up fighting my desire to write last fall, and I've been writing ever since. It's just a part of me.

  5. I was exactly the same way, except I was an English major, not that it helped with writing, all it did was make you read a lot of books and analyze them.

    Welcome to the journey.

  6. I did something very similar to you. I wrote a novel in high school, started college as an English major, but then decided I wasn't being practical. I ended up with my masters in social work and put writing on the side. Then I had my son and decided to stay home. That's when the writing bug hit me again and I rediscovered my love for it. It seems like no matter how far we run from it, if we have a passion for writing, it will find us again.

  7. I see a trend... I also started writing early, and in school. But my writing wasn't part of my school assignments, it was what I did after scribbling out my classwork or while pretending to take notes.

    Melane, you won the Guess the Total of Nathan Contest Entries on my blog :) I linked your site, congrats!