The Ups and Downs of Writing

Writing hurts. The idea is a thorn in the meat of your brain. Dredging your memory is digging a grave. Editing is the moment when that frickin’ fat headed baby is crowning, ripping through the wall of my vaginal consciousness.

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I started writing seriously in 2000 and joined the excellent Writing Popular Fiction Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg– honestly one of the most inspired decisions of my life.

There, I found a tribe of people like me. People who love the art of writing as much as they love genre fiction. I learned from the best. But sometime after graduation with my first horror novel in my happy little fist, I fell off the horse, hard.

I remember a rejection that bit so deep, I didn’t write again for a few years. Then life happened. Job changes, my husband’s back, his father and then my father died, breast cancer. The whole time, I went back to Seton Hill for the alumni writer’s workshop, “In your Write Mind,” just so I would remember that I was a writer at least once a year.

Every time I returned to the hill, the tribe welcomed me back, asked questions about my stories, and germinated the seeds in my head. If only I had access to that energy every day!

It wasn’t until 2014 that I stumbled into NaNoWriMo and wrote my second novel, something I’m immensely proud of. Of course it came out sideways and still hasn’t found a home, but there are people pulling for it.

Then in 2015, I had another great awakening.

I attended the Imaginarium Convention in 2015. I don’t know if I’ll go back, but at that moment I so needed to be there. I went with my buddy, Christina the goth cheerleader, and met Anton and Steven, two cool spec fic writers that introduced me to the bi-weekly flash contest I participate in all the time. It was a game changer.

Writing still hurts. Birth is pain. But the small stories we make every other week are the practice leading me to a better career as a writer. The stories I make are complete, teach me new skills, and they get published (mostly). In the last two years, I’ve written over one hundred short stories and another novel and one on the way.

I’m back, baby. Here’s my pound of flesh. Thank you sir, may I have another?

 

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