Finding Your Way
Our journeys are rarely a straight path. I know, for sure, mine hasn’t been. Though I’ve written stories as long as I can remember, it never occurred to me that I could do this writing thing growing up. I came from a family riddled with poverty. If I needed money, I worked for it on my own. I held down paper routes, two at once. In the summers, I worked for a county program when I turned sixteen. For me, college was the hoped-for way out. Except when you don’t have money, it’s hard to finance it. Loans only went so far. I lasted a year-and-a-half. I came home feeling defeated, like I’d never escape this black hole called poor. Except, around that last half of college, I went to a movie with some friends called Stand by Me. When Chris Chambers’s character says to Gordy that he was born to be a writer, I felt like he was talking to me.
Somehow, when the low-paying jobs I could find then, not having a driver’s license at the time and depending on my dad to drive me to my jobs, I held on to those words. I began to write what would become the first of four books. I didn’t know anything about series back then. I only knew this story was burning inside of me. I had some success in fan fiction at the time and had stories published. I also had a story published in the local newspaper. Hope spurred my writing. I could see a way out, if I didn’t give up. Unfortunately, I met my ex about this time and dreams took a back seat to his wants and needs. It was a nightmare of a marriage and finally, with my son and daughter, we went to the courts for help.
When it was over, I’d found a good-paying job and the kids, and I moved into a small house. I wish I could say things went smoothly from that point, but they didn’t. I was injured on the job and ended up in the office where I spent about four years before they decided they no longer had a position available for me. Things spiraled downhill from there and I had a breakdown. By the time it was over, I learned I had bipolar, something that ran in my family on my dad’s side. Once again, I feared the blackhole would swallow me and my children. Thanks to the mental health agency I went to, and the advice of a lawyer they recommended, I thankfully got disability. I was able to stay home with my kids who’d been through a slew of bad babysitters and I needed to find something else to focus on. That something turned into writing. The world of writing had changed since I’d wanted to write that first story. Back then, I scraped the money together for a word processor, now I had a home computer.
I discovered to my panic that despite the craft books I’d read, my knowledge of writing was limited at best. I spent years studying, trying to get things right. It’s only been in the last couple that I feel I have. I met a critique group that helped take my writing to new heights. Now, I’m trying to determine if going with a publisher or self-publishing is right for me. I really can’t afford the funds to do self-publishing well. I guess I’m at a crossroads. I’ve been blogging since 2009 but haven’t had much success with it until the past couple of years. I’m meeting more and more writers and heeding their advice. This year, I want to make an effort to strive to put myself out there as best as I can. Finding your way can take a long time, the paths can become jagged, but if you stick with it, you can make it. That’s my hope.
I write all genres of YA as well as the occasional historical romance. I live in Ohio with my son and daughter and four cats. I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil.
Writing saved me from a dark period in my life. I will be forever grateful to God for this.
It gave me a way to bring in the light and conquer the darkness. That’s the type of hero/heroine I write about. A survivor and those they love. I want to give others hope, and a way back when they think everything is lost.
Some other things I enjoy: genealogy, riding horseback, and, of course, reading.
I hope you will all follow me on my adventure of getting published.