Why I write, revisited


I follow numerous writer and members of the WordPress community. Recently someone gave the advice on increasing your traffic to your website. One suggestion was reposting older post, which relate to your current blogs. With this in mind, I decided to take my earlier piece on writing and repost it. Since my recent blogs are about my second book, I felt this post was relevant.

The following is my updated blog on; why do I write:

I am not narcissistic to believe I am someone special, although I have had a remarkable life. I have had a life of heart breaks and joys. Many experiences left unhealed scars and some came with lessons learned. So why do I write?

It all started about six years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. My doctor advised me the treatment would be debilitating. This would make working full-time difficult. Since I had anticipated retiring in the next year or two, I took an early retirement. I did not want to sit at home feeling sorry for myself.

Both my closest friend and my husband had encouraged me for years to write about my life. I had shared some, but I hid more. They felt if I would write those stories, it would excel as a book. However, in my mind, I was not a writer. I looked at the project as a monumental task and I had no self-confidence.

I never gave it a thought that I had written for years. The last 25 years of my career, I was the Budget Manager for division of Palm Beach County government. Every year I wrote and distributed a budget document. It gave the taxpayers our goals, objectives, and financial plans. My budget document won awards from Government Finance Officer’s Association. I reviewed peer budget documents submitted for that same award. Without my acknowledgement, I was a writer.

My days between my cancer treatments, I would sit out on our lanai with my laptop and write. I started with outlines and then filled in with detail. I read a book for novice writers. It said just write without worrying about grammar, or punctuation. I did exactly that.

I spent my days lost in writing. My focus was not on my health status and my mind paid little attention to the treatment side effects. I was self-absorbed getting my story written and was oblivious of what went on around me. Hours, days, and weeks melted, as I felt compelled to write. The volume of material grew to an outrageous amount, yet I continued to write.

This went on for over eighteen months. One day, I forced myself, to decide how far the story really needed to go. I had written over 40 chapters and in excess 700 pages. I had not stopped to review or edit any of the material. When I realized what comprised the draft, it stopped me cold. Where do I go from here?

I began the process to educate myself on writing techniques, grammar, and punctuation. I took the advice of my best friend and I took several on-line writing courses. With the volume of material comprising my draft, I became overwhelmed. I became despondent realizing the magnitude of work required to rewrite the manuscript.

As I began the task and compiling a plan, I decided to break up the manuscript into multiple books. One distinct area was the four years I served in the military. Although significant in my life story, it was not cohesive with the genre of the rest.
With the goal to write separate books, I thought the military genre could show me if the public would accept my writing and story. If successful, it would give me inspiration to continue with the rest of the manuscript. I do not remember when I made this decision during the rewrite process. Once made, it was six months later I self-published my book, One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up.

When I reflect back on those years, I have gained so much more than developing my writing skills. I had carried an immense amount of emotional baggage without even knowing it. I had spent months and years putting those emotions and life events into words. By doing so, I had conquered anger, unhappiness, insecurity, and raised my self-esteem. That alone was reason enough to write.

6 Replies to “Why I write, revisited”

  1. I began in a similar fashion, except I always desperately wanted to write. I never had anything I thought was good enough.

    After my 50th birthday I finally sat down and started. Eighteen months later I had seven novels and set off on a quest for clues on how to edit these silly things. I’m still on it.

    Writing forces you to be honest–not that I was dishonest before, but you can live in a fuzzy not-quite-articulated land that’s more comfortable than clothing your ideas in words. That requires honesty with precision. You have to confront everything you think and believe and decide if it’s good enough.

    I’m so glad you took the plunge. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Cathleen for visiting my site and writing such a beautiful comment. If you noticed, I self-published an e-book in July, 2016. I’m currently working on book two. My original manuscript took almost five years. I decided to break it up into three books. Since I began, I have learned so much, yet I have a lot more to conquer. I have no idea what I will do when I have finished book three. I enjoy producing my post on my blog pages more than the intense work it takes to complete a book. In addition, the marketing process is maddening. Yet, we write.

  2. I read both versions of this, Chuck, and I am both impressed and inspired. Thank you so much for sharing. I am a melanoma survivor. It’s amazing what a cancer diagnosis can do to and FOR one, isn’t it?
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

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