Writing & Publishing

Why I Write

There is a Facebook group for everything now. Of course I belong to several writing groups, which I usually end up un-following because people complain so much or I don’t feel I am getting anything from the group. Today I stumbled across a post on a group I just joined and I was shocked by what I saw. The topic of discussion was basically how to get rich quick off writing novels…

I’m sorry, what?

Unless your last name is King or Rowling, you, my currently unpublished friend, have a long road ahead of you. Also, you’re most likely never going to be on easy street.

True, writers CAN make a lot of money, but it’s unusual. I thought about why I write….no it’s not for the money. Anyway, here are a few reasons:

  • I HAVE to write. I had an interest in writing at a young age, and I think about it daily. When I was running the bakery, I hated not having time to write. It ate at me daily and I felt incomplete. I had stories in my head needing out, and no time to write them down.
  • I have a story to tell. My own story is not yet book-worthy (hence this blog) but I imagine characters and the stories they would tell if they could. I like the approach of “not everything has a happy ending.” I think too many books out there end with “happily ever after” so I like writing about reality. Prince Charming doesn’t always win the girl.
  • My characters drive me nuts! Sometimes I forget the characters I develop in my head are not real. No, I don’t need to discuss this with my therapist (though I’m sure she would get a kick out of it!) but these people I invent are important to me. They have a story to be told, and I want to do them justice and see it through. Because my fiction usually deals with injustice (such as sex slavery/trafficking) I feel I need to tell their story to raise awareness of the issues I find bothersome.
  • It’s a form of therapy. For many people, writing is therapeutic. I deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Most days I do well, but there are some days I need to do something to get through the rough patches. Burying myself in writing helps get my mind off the depression. While some people may need to write letters to people they may never send (which is actually a GREAT therapy) I just need to work on one of my writing projects.
  • I want my kids to know they can do anything they set their minds to do. Writing a novel is something a lot of people talk about. It’s a “one day” type of activity…. “One day, I’ll write a novel.” For me, I’ve written a novel and am working on publishing it. I want my children to see they can do whatever they want and to be proactive about completing the project. Publishing is something I’ve wanted to do since I can remember.
  • If I didn’t write, I would face even more depression. I think a lot of the stress felt while I ran my own business was because I had no time for me and the things I like to do. It started to eat at me after awhile and affected other parts of my life. Sure, I’m sad to have closed the bakery because when I wasn’t stressed, I enjoyed being creative in the kitchen….but I’m much happier being creative on paper!
  • It’s who I am! Unlike many people who identify with their job (i.e. an accountant who became an accountant because it pays the bills) a writer is who I am. I can’t separate it from the rest of me. Just like Bill (hubby) is a Marine, and will be for life, even though he is no longer active duty, he is always a Marine!

No where on this list do I list fame and fortune as part of why I write. Yes, I have made good money copywriting, yes I would like to see some return on my time for writing my novel, but it’s not WHY I have to do it.

What is your passion? Is it writing? Soap making? Hunting? Why do you do it? I really feel as though doing something for the money, fame, and fortune puts you on the wrong track! Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Military Spouse Life

Operation Cookie Takeover

imageSo this is what a box of 250+ cookies about to be shipped to Afghanistan looks like! I know you really can’t see what 250 cookies looks like, but it’s A LOT of cookies….and we figured if we were shipping them over to the troops, we better do it right and send the BIG cookies…with small, round, colorful, won’t-melt-in-your-hand (or hopefully during shipping), chocolate pieces included!

We received an email earlier in the week asking us to jump in and bake since someone who had committed to doing them had to back out. Since Bill and I met after his 4 big deployments in the USMC, I never got to do this for him and his company, so whenever someone asks the bakery to do anything related to the military, I answer “HELL YES” as quickly as I can. It doesn’t make Thanksgiving any easier for those who are deployed, but it might help for a minute….or as long as the sugar rush lasts.

I almost cried when I packed the box and placed the paper inside explaining why the troops were getting the cookies. Attached to the information sheet is small slip of paper (it’s on the back, so you can’t see it in the picture) with the name of someone who means a lot to me.

Rewind about 30 years (I’m 33 now) and in a small horse town in Connecticut, I learned my first words, took my first steps, and started making mudd pies under the willow tree. Fast forward to 2012 and a coward with a gun opened fire in a small school in that town, called Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. While I did not attend that particular school, (I lived on the other side of Newtown). I had personal connections to three people inside. Two of them are no longer with us. One, a first grader who is the cousin of one of my BFF’s, witnessed the shooting in his classroom.

Each year, in honor of the 26 people innocently killed, Bill and I participate in 26 Acts of Kindness with We Are Newtown. We take the 26 names and attach them to 26 random things we do between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you jump on Facebook, you can like the We Are Newtown page and get a complete list of names so you can participate. I will also post the names here as soon as I figure out how.

This year I was able to take two things really important to me…our military, and my hometown, and honor them both. Yes, it’s just a box of cookies, but maybe it will inspire others. What if we all did 26 random acts of kindness each year? How amazing would that be?

I must sign off now because my eyes are tearing up and because I am SERIOUSLY behind on NaNoWriMo. People are starting to validate their novels and be deemed “winners.” I’m still introducing characters……but cookies wait for no one!

Ciao for now!