I’ve been getting a lot of questions about writing lately and how I got started, so I thought I’d share my story again for those of you who might be new here. I hope you are all doing well!
I sat there at a conference listening to Sheila Walsh speak.
She shared a story about a woman who came up to her and said she wished she could be a writer like Sheila was.
When I heard that, my heart stirred.
Because I wanted to be a writer, too.
When I was a kid, I used to enter my poems in poetry contests. In elementary school, I wrote stories that got published in an anthology my school district printed. And in high school, my favorite classes were about literature and writing.
So how was it that years later, sitting at that conference, I found myself so far away from what I loved?
After getting my MBA, working at HP for several years, and then making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom (a decision I’ve never regretted), I felt a new tug on my heart. The distance from the corporate world and the time I was able to spend reading children’s books to my kids had reawakened my long-quieted passion for writing.
I dreamed of writing a book–I wanted to make a difference in the world–but having been away from writing for so long, my dream seemed far off. As Sheila talked about that woman who dreamed the same thing, I sat on the edge of my seat. And when she shared what she told her, it really hit me.
Just start. Whether it’s five minutes a day, or ten. Just start writing. And then you are a writer.
It was one of the most freeing things I’d ever heard. I didn’t have to long to be a writer. Or dream of it. I didn’t have to imagine what it would be like or worry that I already missed my chance. All I had to do was start.
And so I did. Between diapers and potty training and play dates, between preschool and doctor appointments and swim lessons, I researched and read… and started to write. Sometimes I wrote ten minutes a day because that’s all I had. Sometimes, on days when the kids took long naps, I wrote more.
It wasn’t easy. But nothing worthwhile is.
Years later, after many rejection letters and after signing my first children’s book contracts, I’m more thankful than ever that I started.
And by walking through that door, other doors have opened…
Every once in a while, as I focused my writing in the children’s genre, an idea for a parenting article or story would pop into my head. I’d get on the computer, type it out, and file it away, not sure if I’d ever do anything with it. Then, a few years ago, as I got more involved in mentor programs for moms and parenting organizations, and as I began to read more parenting magazines and books, I felt a strong pull on my heart to dig my articles out. I had been thinking about doing writing online for a while and I had a few writer friends who had blogs. So when a friend of mine with website experience recommended I start a blog too and post my writings there, and with encouragement from Mike to, “just do it and not wait until the perfect time,” I did. MyCup2Yours began with a few parenting stories and articles, but when I saw the response and how so many moms were finding connection and support online, I jumped in with both feet.
I’ve loved sharing parenting stories and experiences with other moms. Because when we share like that, we realize we aren’t alone. We aren’t the only ones who’ve ever longed for a dream to come true. We aren’t the only ones who’ve struggled with something difficult. We aren’t the only ones who’ve ever felt frustrated by parenting, or who have picky eaters, kids that fight, or a house that’s a mess.
We’re all in this together, and by sharing our stories, we come to know that,
and each other.
And that’s the best part.
Oh, and about making a difference in the world? I still strive to do that through my writing, but even more importantly, I’ve learned that the things I do as a mom and the time I spend with my kids every day does make a difference.
In the lives of my kids and in the world.
Two are better than one… for if they fall, one will lift up the other.
What about you? Do you want to be a writer? Read my post here to find out more. And if you’re interested in checking out some writing resources and links, I’ve got a bunch listed here. :)