I call myself a writer. Sometimes I even push the boat out and refer to myself as an author.
Mostly though, if i bring it up when people ask what I do or what my job is, I reply "I'm a home educating mum, I run social media platforms and I'm writing a children's novel."
(Danger! Motivational quote images ahead!)
I've always wanted to write. I've dabbled here and there through life and always trashed whatever i was writing, and given up. I've given up on the basis that I didn't know how to write, and what was the point anyway.
Afterall, writers just become, right? They pop into existence, talented and able to orchestrate a masterpiece, with little to no amendment, with perfect voice, and precise language and intense storylines that become the book we all fall in love with.
There was a time in my teens where i stopped reading entirely through bitterness. I didn't even consider taking my education in the direction of creative writing because I simply doubted it was feasible.
How could anything worthy come from me?
(To be fair, I wasn't a bright teen, nor was I a mindful or ambitious one. There was stuff going on.)
What didn't occur to me until I was 28, well into motherhood by a year at this point, was that I could learn a great deal about writing, without going to college, and it was worth simply trying.
Let me say it again.
And where did i go to pick up the information that lit the fire for writing and kept it relatively stable through the past 5 years?
Let me just declare this.
From the very first youtube videos i watched, I was hooked. I binged for days on videos covering the principles of the first draft, of outlining, of character profiling, and importantly, self forgiveness for garbage first drafts. Because everyone's first draft is garbage. And that's where editing and redrafting comes in and feast more topics for videos on youtube too.
I remember at least 4 years ago, when i was very wobbly but absolutely fascinated by everything being presented in these vlogs from talented writers and authors. I felt like i could never take it all in. All the technical English, grammar, structure... it swamped me because my starting point was basically... threading words together. It still is, all these years later.
I've made peace with that. I will pick it all up along the way. I am trying to learn, I'm invested, and there is a world of assistance out there, and I'm no longer embarrassed by that.
What I lack in that, I have discovered...
I am a badass story teller!
I weave a pretty wicked plot.
I rock at writing dialogue.
I can keep the most perilous event tones safe but effectively intense for children.
This is me and those are my strengths. Once I knew enough (and watched enough hours in Authortube) to realise that there was a divide in me, and it couldn't and shouldn't encroach on my drive to write and produce my book baby, I felt much better about my approach to writing. In fact, it became one of my Six Impossible Things which I believe Before Breakfast. No, really. Check our backstory video!
You see, for all I take on from those break downs and walk throughs of writing skill with ease, the creative elements, if you will, I am so very and completely blocked with anything with a processing, mathematical approach. As it turns out, most technical english and written language rules full into that foggy bucket for me.
That doesn't mean I stop though. That just means I dare to keep going and appreciate the help and assistance out there that I will gradually pick up along the journey.
I have written my Work-In-Progress over once already in those years, in the captured moments between fatigue overrule and motherhood demands. I have covered more than 220,000 words. I am rewriting my whole first 9 chapters. I have reshaped the plot, some sub plots, some characters, and i've come out glowing better than ever. And I'm no where near the end, because it will still get edited SO MUCH MORE before I hit agent worthy.
I now get the process, and now i've written all those words, it's a lot less daunting, I've learned from my mistakes, and picked up so much along the way just by TRYING.
Dear New Writer who feel's it's too late,
You have a story in your heart. It doesn't matter if you don't know how. You will learn, and what you don't learn, you'll find solutions for.
You can turn your back on the prospect, but it will always call your name.
Mercifully though, it can never be too late.