My Writing Practice

As a child, I often spoke about writing a book, but no one took me seriously. At age 50, the opportunity to accomplish my dream finally arose. I hurt myself while exercising and I wasn’t able to walk freely. I used my recovery period to write. On my desk I placed, my laptop, letters I wrote throughout the years, postcards, notes, and pictures as a way to remind me of facts. It took me approximately 300 hours to draft the manuscript. “How could I have done that?” I confess that I tried for a long time to find the answer to this question.

A few years later at the end of a Book Club presentation, a participant asked me, “Helen, do you plan to write another novel?” I answered firmly, “No.” However, within a few weeks, I felt that if I didn’t sit down and write, I would die. I didn’t have any idea of what I would write but, this time, I felt more comfortable with the idea of writing, maybe because I didn’t need to hide or felt scared or ashamed of what others would say about my work.

This second time something different happened. I felt the need to be alone and avoid interaction with family and friends as much as possible. I would answer only emergencies and take care of my girls. Only close friends knew about my social sabbatical leave.

After 300 hours, my second manuscript was finalized and printed. I turned each page one by one, trying to understand what I had just accomplished. Again, I couldn’t find an answer. I had written over 60 000 words, but I was having trouble coming up with a title and an idea for the book cover. During the middle of the night, I woke up and without turning on the lights, I wrote on a piece of paper the title and drew a picture. My problem was solved.

These are just two examples of my writing practice, but on a daily basis, quotes, poems, ideas, and short stories occur to me anytime and anywhere. Consequently, I always have my phone or a pen and a piece of paper handy to put my thoughts on paper, or the ideas will disappear. I confess that sometimes it gets to be overwhelming, especially when enjoying a beautiful sunny day and I have to stop in the middle of nowhere to write.

When I accomplished one of my childhood dreams with the publication of my first novel Unveiling the Truth, writing became an addiction, which I may say, “I am proud of having it.” I’ve decided not to worry about finding the answer as to why I write the way I write. I accept that it calms me down, makes me feel great, satisfied and powerful. Writing gives me a purpose in life. Finally, now aware of this gift within, I am determined to write as long as I live. Accepting my passion for writing has brought me great happiness.