Monday, May 21, 2012

Writing Journey: Where It All Began…

Hi Friends,
To celebrate my fifty-fourth birthday, I’m jumping into the deep end and share what I’ve been doing for the last several months.

Have you ever felt that sense of relief that happens when you realize you’re exactly where you were always meant to be? That’s how I feel and it’s an incredible feeling. I, Nancy Crisp Weeks, am a WRITER! I have finished two books in what I’m calling my Shadow series. After over 800 pages, 200,000 words, and two years, it hit me. I finally feel like I can call myself a writer.

While stories have lived in my head my whole life, I wondered if I had it in me to actually write one down. I figured everyone had new worlds, fascinating people, heroes, heroines, and vicious villains running through their minds at all hours. It’s one of those things we all do, but since it’s so common, we don’t talk about it. I was shocked to learn that most people keep to-do lists in their heads. And…they don’t sit in hotel lobbies or restaurants and think this would a great scene for a sniper attack, or a kidnapping.

So here’s a secret very few people know about me. I have always wanted to be a writer. I used to amble around the shelves, run my hand over the book covers and think, I really… really want to write one day.

I have a deep respect and fascination for writers. But could I become one? In college, I freaked at the idea of a five thousand word essay. A full length novel, the very thought was daunting.

But the dream never went away. It persisted, churning away in my subconscious for half my life. Then one day three years ago, my world shifted… and I mean 9.1 earthquake kind of shift. I wrote the first sentence for In the Shadow of Evil.

What caused this dramatic change in my life? Well, that moment I can contribute to my sweet sister, Mary. She stopped smoking. Cold turkey, no gums, no pills, just her strong will and determination. I was so proud of her that I had to do something to honor her.

So, just before my fifty first birthday, I began my first novel. I wrote everyday and for months, told no one except Mary. Every few days, I would send her my horrid…and I really mean it when I say horrid chapters of the first draft. And she would tell me how many hours she had gone without a cigarette. Then she would start bugging me for more of the story, complaining that I left her hanging.

At the one year anniversary mark, we celebrated a smoke free year and a completed novel. There are some dreams that won’t be ignored. Half the time, I wonder if I should have my head examined. But every day, I can’t wait to dig back into the lives of my characters, finish one more scene, one more chapter. And at three in the morning, I’m plotting the next book and the book after that.

I have no idea where this road will lead me, but I thank God every day that I’m on it. I hope you too will grab hold of that one thing you always want to do and go for it. I can tell you from experience, it’s hard work, grueling, bang your head on the table frustrating, but worth it.

If you have followed your dream or are still searching, please share it with me. Dreamers need to stick together, lend each other a helping hand.

Nancy C. Weeks