I finished a manuscript. Not my first, but my first in 15 years.
I have “wanted to be a writer” since I was ten. My family was poor, and they neither understood nor supported this strange passion. I plunked away for hours in ratty notebooks or on ancient word processors. When I got to college, I managed to get a computer and pounded out two full novels between classes. But I never found real support for my passion even in college, and financial necessity (read looming student loans) sent me down a very different path. I became a CPA. Yes, you read that correctly. From aspiring writer to CPA.
And I was good at it. Not great, but damn good.
I worked in public accounting for three years, putting in grueling hours at distant clients. I went back to my lonely hotel room and pounded out a few words every night. But lack of success in publishing wears on you, especially when you are experiencing success in your “other” career, and eventually, I sidelined writing for other pursuits. Sure, I would pick it up and dabble with it here and there, but never seriously.
When I was home on maternity leave last year, I watched a lot of TED talks. One of them was on passion. What was your passion? What would you do even if you weren’t paid to do it? And why aren’t you out there pursuing it?
For me, that passion was writing. Always had been. So, I picked up pen, paper, and iPad and got to work.
A year later, I have finished a manuscript, revised it seven or eight times, had 2 beta readers read it and give me feedback, and then revised it another two to three times. I feel like it’s as good as I can make it right now.
What I haven’t achieved is thick skin. Not yet. Perhaps I shall save publishing for later.