Friday, July 22, 2011

Line Upon Line

I was visiting with a friend this morning and she said, "I remember a few years ago when you seemed to be having such a hard time. You seemed lost and sad, and then you started writing. After that, you blossomed. I wish I could have something like that happen to me."

I remember the time she's talking about. I remember feeling unhappy and lost, wondering where my niche was. The funny thing is, I didn't suddenly wake up and decide to be a writer. Honestly, it happened in teeny, tiny baby steps.

I love to read, and when I was in my early thirties I thought it might be fun to try to write something. Just for fun. Just to see if I could. My computer crashed and I lost that story. There were only a few chapters so I wasn't too broken up about it, but I didn't write again for about three years. And then I connected with Elizabeth Mueller who also loved to write. (our daughters were in the same preschool) We started getting together, reading each other's work. She taught me the basic rules (because I knew NOTHING) and taught me how to edit.

It wasn't long before I'd fallen in love with the art of writing. It took time and practice. I'm still learning. I hope I always will be, and now I've been writing for four years. I'm proud of where I am. I'll never stop. It's my new love, and I'm good at it.

The thing that I want to point out is that something like this doesn't just fall in your lap. It's little by little, line upon line. Tiny coincidences. Experiences that seem small at the time, but when you look back on them, were huge turning points.

If you don't feel like you've found your niche, don't worry. Things happen when the time is right. But don't be afraid of grabbing an opportunity when it comes by. You don't want to miss your chance!


Heidi Windmiller said...

What a wonderful post for me to read at this specific time in my life. I've been feeling a little pointless lately, and this helped me to see that the step I'm currently on is just a moment in my life. And if I keep climbing, the moment will pass.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like how I entered the process. Like waking a giant.
And Elizabeth is awesome!

mshatch said...

your story sounds very similar to mine - except mine started many moons ago... too many to count, but it helped having someone else who was writing and who knew more than I did. I miss my first writing buddy (she lives in another state now) but I'm so glad to have found the on line writing/blogging community :)

Saloma Furlong said...

It's great to have something you are so enthusiastic about, isn't it? I like writing too, and it's great to see something in print after 16 years of writing. Even if that were not the case, I'd still write.

Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us!

Saloma Furlong

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Great advice. And Heidi, things will get better. The thing about writing (and learning to play the violin), specifically, is the more you do it, the better it will get. Even when you think it's terrible, it's all a big learning curve.

James Garcia Jr said...

What a great, heartfelt post, Melissa. Thanks for the encourgement. I hope you have a great weekend.


Rob-bear said...

My 30 year career as a journalist ended within a year of my retirement. I had intended to keep writing in my retirement, but that plan crashed and burned.
I was discussing this with my doctor recently. She encouraged me to find new ways to keep writing, for the sake of my health (physical and mental).
I'm not a writer of books, at least not thusfar. But I can blog. So I will blog.

Old Kitty said...

What a lovely journey to your writing career! Yay for Elizabeth and for seizing moments before they disappear! take care

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Great post, and a nice reminder of the impact one person can have on another.

Maeve Frazier said...

Very nice post! Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us. Take care and happy writing.

Tess said...

this is a good reminder ... we need to reach out to others and be inclusive. I really do adore that about the childrens writing community.

Blaze McRob said...

So glad you found that "something" in your life that was missing. It's a wonderful feeling.


Shari said...

The exact same thing happened to me!

TracyRobin said...

Just what I needed to read... ty!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great words of encouragement. Glad you discovered your true calling.

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