There’s nothing more exciting than starting a new story. Reading, writing, it’s all the same - embarking on a great adventure. Not knowing your exact, final destination until you arrive at “The End.”
Before we get to the end, let me take you back to the beginning.
Thanks, Jessica, for hosting me this week. This blog is an introduction on me – Maya Tyler, novice author.
When I was a child, I dreamt about becoming a writer. I even looked into journalism programs before I went to university. My life took another turn and I studied commerce instead. I've been writing stories and poetry for years now; I always had a story to tell. Silly short stories when I was a child; moody poetry when I was a teen; partially completed manuscripts as an adult. I always scribbled ideas in notepads and started stories, but I was never able to finish one. I even took a continuing education class in creative writing about seven years ago. It was a great class and I thought of lots of ideas. I even wrote a few short stories and started a novel. Started, but never finished. In fact, I’ve started to write a novel many times, but I never finished one. Until now.
When I was home on maternity leave, about three years ago, I picked up writing again. I wrote a few short stories and I started entering contests online. It was an eye opening experience. There were many wannabe authors out there. I was not alone. My dream to write had been rekindled. Writing was always a great outlet for me. I found it again at a time in my life filled with great uncertainty and stress. I had two children under the age of two and my husband had been recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Needless to say, it was a difficult time. Life has not gotten much easier. My husband has had several relapses although he is currently holding his own. I went back to work. My boys are growing up and someday we’ll have to explain “Daddy is sick” and it will be the hardest conversation of our lives. I have tried to write about it. Even started a story about a disabled husband and a wife with two small children, but it was too close to home. I’ll stick to the “once upon a time” stories with the requisite happily ever after, thank you very much.
A couple of years ago, I found a Facebook group for writers. This interactive and supportive group inspired me to set a goal - actually complete a manuscript. That meant getting past the "this is stupid, no one will ever read this" point and trusting someone to provide honest critique. Once I had a completed manuscript, I set a new goal. Publication. I submitted my first full-length novel for publication and received a polite rejection email. I never tried to submit it anywhere else. It sits on my hard drive and maybe someday I’ll look at it again.
I was rejected, but not dejected. I wrote another story, a science fiction novella. I worked with my critique partners and made improvements. I read it over and over, edited it, tweaked it. For almost a year, I worked to polish my novella. Then I started to submit it for publication. Rejection. Again. This time I didn’t stop trying. I asked my writing group for suggestions on other publishing houses. Then I started emailing them.
It took time to find the right publisher, but on Christmas Day 2013 there was a contract in my inbox! A real live contract. It was an amazing feeling. I didn’t tell anyone, even my husband, until Boxing Day. I kept my good news a secret because I just couldn’t believe it at first. It was surreal, like I had entered a whole, new world. A part of me would be out there, exposed. I signed a contract, I filled out forms for cover art. I created an author identity. I started a blog. Now it was official. My story was going to be published. I would be a writer. It was the most exciting (non-family related) event of my adult life. My dream to become a writer would come true. I am still undergoing intense rounds of editing so the publication date is TBD.
So, currently I’m working through the editing process for my novella and I started writing a new novel. This one will be more contemporary and I’m aiming for the 50k mark. I enjoy reading many different genres so I’m experimenting with writing them. I consider reading good research for my writing. Or, that’s a great excuse I use to catch up on my summer reading!
The possibilities are endless. If you have a dream, you must believe you have the ability to make it come true. I dream of happily ever after. The End.
You can read more of my “musings” on my blog. I post weekly on Fridays and I love company.