So... I want to write. And so do a million other bloggers you'll come across on the Internet. Me though? I think I have always have been a writer. I got a tote full of journals stashed in the back of my closet. I started my first journal 20 years ago (!!) when darling hubby and I married. I think I am on my 12th journal right now. I've always felt the need to document my life. I'm not sure why except maybe I was born to write.
So I began to piddle seriously with a little stint I landed in the local newspaper about 7 years ago. It began as a simple press release, then a small article, then I pitched myself until I landed a small weekly parenting advice column. I wrote for The Review Atlas for about 2 years. And I found I really liked it.
But then the editor moved on and I popped out a couple of kids and before I knew it I was on a writing hiatus.
Fast forward a few years
I was sipping my coffee on a lazy Saturday morning, skimming the paper when I spotted a small note from the new editor. "The Review Atlas is seeking contributors to the Opinion Page. Interested individuals should contact the editor via email".
That was two years ago. Now I'm a headliner on Tuesday morning. Which is a really big deal as that's the most popular paper of the week. (Oh! not because of me! Because the paper only goest to print Tuesday through Saturday. By the time Tuesday comes around everyone is excited to get a new edition).
So I'm published! A weekly opinion writer who's column is entitled Practical Parenting.
And I'm back in the saddle again! Hitting the keyboard encouraged me to create my first blog on Sikorski Avenue (our home website). Blogging enhanced my skills which lead to an opportunity to do some writing for the Women's Development Department of Next Level International which brought me a few compliments.
"I loved your blog this week"
"Your article was great! I cut it out and sent it to my daughter!"
"Thanks for your sharing that story, it really inspired me."
And I got to thinking, if I love writing and you like reading it well...maybe we have something here.
I've never taken a writing course. I stink at grammar and I hope my incorrect use of punctuation isn't embarrassing me. And yet I'm doing it. I'm pursuing my dream.
So I got serious about exploring the world of publishing. I began researching. I even gooogled, "How do I become an author?". And I've not been off the Internet since.
I started researching queries and freelance opportunities, publishers versus self publication ... and found that it can be an intensive process. About that same time I read Don Millers book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and was captured by the book's theme; that I have the opportunity -with my daily life- to create a meaningful story. I wanted to live a better story. Literally and figuratively.
And thus "To Write a Better Story" was born.
I made a conscious decision to no longer think about writing to actually, writing. To stop telling folks when they suggested I put a book together, "Yea! I should!" to "Yes! I am!".
One afternoon while researching at the library I came across a book entitled; Writing Life's Stories, How to make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays and Life into Literature.
Now I am working through that book. It's very insightful. I've already learned a lot. I've had it checked out for six months and until the library stops allowing me to renew it I'll keep working through it.
One of the book's first assignments was to spend an afternoon in the library looking at first lines. While walking up and down the shelves, randomly pulling books for the assignment I got the idea to document my writing journey. I thought:
1. blogging about my journey would make me stick to the task
2. I dig journalling anyway, so it seemed like a fun idea
3. experts said publishers are looking for bloggers who have a web presence and
4. if I ever really did get published wouldn't this be a great way to document how it all began (for future book queries, naturally).
So here we are. You're up to speed.
Now everyday ((almost)), as encouraged by Bill Roorbach (who's now my Facebook friend, by the way) I read, write and work through the writing assignments as outlined in his book.
This is my journey documented.
It is my story. I hope it is a better one!
Plus, it makes a great tag line! Read 'To Write a Better Story' blogs here!