Vision: A Resource for Writers

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To Be or Not to Be

By Deb Buckingham
Copyright © 2009 by Deb Buckingham, All Rights Reserved

The time it takes you to read this article will be long enough for you to decide if you are serious about your writing career. You have to feel it to believe it.

This is a story of one nurse, me, who felt that stress wasn't the way of life and something creative needed to take place. Something must happen in order for me to feel complete. You see, death and dying is something that is part of life, but it shouldn't be a way of life, but that is what it became for me. I'd go to work and bring it home. 

My six year hospice nursing career left me burned out and needing a change. I told my husband it had to be something that didn't stress me out, at least as much. It had to be something creative. It had to be something that when I spent time with it, it would leave me wanting more.

After researching the possibility of opening my own yarn shop, we decided that wasn't what I wanted. Talk about stress! So, in May of 2008, I joined a writer's group. I had been writing since high school – poetry mostly – so what the heck, I thought.  I'll see where this takes me.

After befriending many serious writers, well into their projects, I decided to join them in the novel arena.

 So, I began my first novel. I bought every book I could get my hands on that would teach me the art of writing a novel. I spent countless hours reading other authors bios to get a feel for how they ran their day-to-day writing career. Fortunately for me, I had, and still do have, a husband that supports us. So, for me to make this decision, well – it was easy.

The months have passed by quickly and my novel is progressing nicely. However, every once in a while my husband needed to remind me that I was a writer. His consistent encouragement kept me grounded.

Sometimes I still found myself in the help wanted section looking for a “real” job; one that I had to punch a time clock.  Wait! Halt! Hold the phone! No! That's exactly what I didn't want, I reminded myself.

You see, I'm an extravert who needs people to stimulate her day. So I took to writing at coffee shops where people surrounded me. My group decided to join me and we began an every Tuesday event. We would show up with our laptops and write for the afternoon, drink coffee (which becomes your best friend as a writer), and ask those questions that would move our stories forward.

My project developed and by the time I knew it, I was into January with a first completed draft.

I was excited! So through the endless hours of editing, attending my writer's groups, and registering for my first Writer's Conference, I felt I was on my way.

I'm an author. Yes, that's right! I've finally come full circle after a year of convincing myself that I truly am an author.

I've completed my first manuscript, 69,000 words, and 310 pages. Wow! It feels fabulous!

Now, begins the task of sending out the query letters. I've taken that task very seriously and have once again, done my research on what works in today's economy. The agents are bombarded everyday with aspiring writers, just like us, wanting to be read.

I sit here in my newly decorated home office that we call my writing room, and look out through the open window where the mountains glisten with newly fallen snow. The raisin scone scented candle burns slowly in its new swirled holder. I realize that my life has come to a place I can feel comfortable with, a place I can be content.

So to be or not to be is the question I have for you. Are you a writer? Or are you a person who is too nervous to take that first step. I encourage you to take that one step and find yourself a writer's group that you feel comfortable with. Interview them if you have to. And dive into that one craft we all call… writing.