What do you do?
I am a writer!
When 'they' ask me, and 'they' do often. That is my answer, and it has a certain ring to it. I figure, now I have authored two and half novels, and 10'ish children's books, and I write or complete writing related tasks nearly every day, I can say it.
And No...is my next answer, I have not published...yet. The truth is, I have been too in the zone with my writing. Yes, that does need to change but for right now, I'm good - with words flying around in my head at the speed of light. Well probably not, they'd be darn hard to catch and put to paper, but you get my drift.
Every time doubt seeps in about whether I should even call myself that, I remember the Sister Act 2 quote when Whoopi Goldberg is speaking to Lauren Hill's character and she says, "lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing...then you're a writer." That's me. I AM a writer, and it feels amazing.
I have been many things over my first 35 years, including a primary school teacher which I adored, but there has never been anything that has made me feel as purposed and motivated as writing. I have always loved words. Through my school years I came to terms with my identity through lyrical prose and poetry, then sadly got busy with life and put my pen down.
Twenty years later, I was thrust without warning into seven weeks of strict bed-rest post surgery and for the first time since having children, I had time to myself. When the medically induced haze subsided I got to thinking. Here I am, a busy mother of three young children (7,4 and 1 at the time), stuck in bed for 1176 hours (yes, I counted) with zero responsibility and zero ability to engage in my real day to day life. No meals to make, no jobs to do - I see all you parents throwing your hands up in the air yelling, "pick me!" And I hear you...of course I do. It is not nearly as awesome as it sounds. Maybe if that bed was in the Greek Islands, or Hawaii I would think differently.
I was literally confined to my bed, with very short and very slow visits to our en-suite. I knew, I could either hate it - (seven weeks is a REALLY long time) or I could use it. I decided to use it, so how?
I asked myself. What do I love? What makes me happy that I just can't fit into my real life? The answer came...dancing...Yeah...Nah...you kind of have to move for that to be fun.
The second answer was clear - writing. And that was it. From that moment on, I started writing every day, some days non-stop for five or six hours. I completed ten children's picture books - which I was immensely proud of, and completed the first 1.5 books of two separate children's novel series'. By the time I got off bed-rest, not only was I crazy excited to actually breathe fresh, outside air - oh the glory! But also I had established a habit - and one that made me happy. Three months later I had completed the first draft of my first Adult fiction novel (no...not that kind of adult!!) and promptly started my second.
In that first year, I had written & edited Book one and also written book two, which was squirrelled away in a drawer for its dark nap. Now, Books 1 (Out of the Ashes) & 2 (Beautiful Fragments) have been sent to publishers complete with query letters and those dreaded synopses...I mean COME ON! How does one expect you to cut an 88-106,000 word novel down to 300 words while telling the WHOLE story...REALLY???
Yip, you may gather I hate those things! But I know...like everything they serve their purpose, and needs must! Oh and...I have started Book three which is crazy exciting.
Well, that's it really. In the style of my youngest daughter, who stands, puts her hand on her thrust out hip and announces "Hi, I'm Aria, I'm a coddler (toddler)."
Hi. I'm Vanessa, I'm a writer.