The Ever Evolving Writer

In 2006, I fell into this little group of Eloisa James fans via her bulletin board. They were called the Bon Bons and it was like an instant family. In the fall of that year, many of us Bon Bons partook in a little writing contest called Avon FanLit.

WritingAt the time, though I’d toyed with the idea for years, I did not see publication on my horizon. I played along, writing for fun, knowing nothing about motivation, story structure or a million other elements that go into writing a novel. Though a story idea came to me, I still told myself (and others) that I was just writing to see if I could do it. No lofty goals for me.

Less than a year later, I joined Romance Writers of America. Admittedly, because “everyone was doing it.” And I thought I was immune to peer pressure. (This is the same reason I joined Facebook all those years ago and look how that’s turned out.)

Golden-gate-bridgeBy 2008, I wanted to be published but was busy working on a college degree, being a mom, and wearing 473 other hats. I kept studying the craft, but little writing happened. Still, I attended my first RWA Nationals that summer. Again, because everyone was doing it. (What am I, thirteen?) Regardless of why I went, I think the bug took hold in that fine city of San Francisco.

In 2009, I wrapped up that college degree and set out to conquer my first MS. The learning curve was steep but I found my process, applied what I’d learned, figured out more crap I needed to learn, and met a self-imposed deadline with that MS, which I finished (rough draft) by June 2010.

Today that book is under the bed, but for all its flaws, I’ll always love it for being my first. In 2011, my horizon has shifted once again. Along this journey, I never intended for writing to take the place of the day job. The reality is, I’m a one income household with a new home and a preteen sporting shiny new braces. The steady paycheck and benefits are a must.

Dreaming-about-booksBut knowing the reality doesn’t stop me from dreaming. If you’d told me in 2005 I’d buy a house in 2010, I’d have laughed in your face. If you’d told me in 2007 I’d plan a chapter conference in 2009 while coaching a softball team and wrapping up a degree, I’d have suggested you cut back on the hooch.

And if you’d told me in 2009 that I’d long for the day I could be a full-time writer spending my days with words instead of spreadsheets, I’d never have believed it. But I believe it now. Not that it’ll happen, but that I long for it. And that’s enough. For now.

9 thoughts on “The Ever Evolving Writer”

  1. I love this post.
    I completely understand how it goes. We evolve as writers because we evolve as women. Ok, ok, (PC PC) we evolve as humans. But I think it’s wonderful. I can’t wait to read your next story. I loved the last and I think this next one is going to be phenomenal.

  2. Terri Osburn says:

    Thanks for the confidence, Marn! I’ve changed my mind on so many things over the years, but I seem to be at an age where I can see it more clearly.
    There once was a time being a mother never occurred to me. Now I can’t imagine NOT being one!
    I have high hopes for this MS. I know I’m having a blast writing it. And the characters have been so helpful. That’s always nice. LOL!

  3. Irisheyes says:

    I love your journey. And to think I was there at the beginning! I’m going to be standing in line someday (waiting for you to sign my copy of your latest and greatest) and telling the person standing next to me that I knew you when!

  4. Terri Osburn says:

    Gee, Irish, you just made me cry. I pray that day comes, but you better make plenty of time to hang with me before and after that signing!

  5. Hey Terri,
    I like to think I had a wee bit of influence back there in 2008 in that City by the Bay. And ONE OF THESE DAYS I will give you that second knitting lesson! 😉

  6. Hi Terri
    Love the title of this post and reading your journey. Like you, I’d love to get published one day, whether traditionally or self-published. But for now, I’m content just to put all the ideas from my head to paper to keep myself from stir-crazy! If you’d told me back in 2006 that I’d be writing novel as a side project, I’d have chopped my ears off 😉
    Off to read your other posts now 🙂

  7. Terri Osburn says:

    You definitely had great influence, AC! And still today, everytime I type the word “it” I think of you and shoot for a better word. 🙂
    I’m getting arthritis in my hands so that lesson might be harder than it should be.

  8. Terri Osburn says:

    Hello, Maria and thanks for finding me! It’s good to be content for now. And the truth is, the more we write now, the better writers we’ll be when the time comes. That means it’s never for nothing. 🙂

  9. Irisheyes says:

    You got it! Hopefully we’ll meet up before that day arrives, but if not, you’ve got a date 🙂

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