Life lately has been posing many questions for me, as I'm sure it does many of us. Something I have struggled with since entering the writing world, is do I belong here? I am going to admit that I never finished college, I haven't spent years in a field learning the craft of writing, I haven't been mentored by someone doing this for years. I am just a woman with a passion for reading and writing. In that passion, I discovered a raw talent and a thirst to learn more about writing as well as improve upon it.
You may be wondering why am I writing about such a topic? Well I want you all to know that if you are doubting yourself, stop it! You belong here just as much as I do! Jenna and I began going to writers conferences two years ago. Though I love attending them and the wonderful people I meet, they were painful for me up until recently. Why you ask? As we sit around getting to know one another that impending question of where did you graduate from? never fails to come up. Same with most people having worked professionally in the writing world for many years with works published in magazines, journals, small presses, etc.
I've spent so much time feeling inferior in the writing world I noticed it was taking away from my experiences and that is just silly. What I am discovering and I want to help you with is that everyone must start somewhere. The same people with so much experience behind them started somewhere. I have a novel that is the first in a series completed. No it's not been published yet but it will be. I also have a chapbook out as well as writing for quite some time on this blog.
My point is, passion is passion just as talent is talent. All we need is the desire to tell a story, to make a difference, to reach someone with our writing. That is what makes us writers. Not all the fancy things behind our name but the passion within our souls to move someone, inspire them or break their hearts with what we bleed onto paper.
My first novel I've worked on for over 6 years but when I started I wanted to name my characters a specific way. I researched name meanings. From there I knew I wanted to have some Astrology based principles in it. I went and bought the Idiots Guide to Astrology. I've had others read my work to help tell me where I need improvement. I have been attending writers conferences to network and see what other authors that are successful are doing. I began interning for an independent press. I have taken the steps to walk into the writing world, to learn how to become a better writer, become open to criticism so I can be better and to research the topics I want to discuss.
I started off with a pen and paper writing down notes and nearly seven years later I have a novel, with the second one underway, one chapbook with the second underway, co-writing a novella with Jenna and many other short stories waiting to be finished. We are all writers no matter where we are starting and what experience we have behind us. We all belong here. For we have a voice and a story waiting to be told that the world deserves to hear because we never know who we can help.