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
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…