I am a writer.
I don’t usually say those words. I don’t say them because I don’t feel them. I think of myself as a teacher and a mom, but the truth is that I was a writer long before I was either of those things.
I have just a handful of things leftover from my elementary years. Two things that were saved are a journal from second grade and two short stories from around fourth-fifth grade. Besides that, I have report cards and some projects from computer camp. On a side note, remember making banners out of the paper that was connected? That was awesome. No artwork, just writing.
In junior high I was into fan fiction. One story in particular was pretty popular in the fan fiction world online. It was never named, so it was labeled “Untitled” and yes, I will admit this, it involved the Backstreet Boys. It sounds ridiculous, and of course it was, but at over 100 chapters and with an actual online (albeit probably small) following, it was first great writing feat. It has, unfortunately, been lost to the ages. It was stored on a handful of floppy discs that were probably thrown away.
After my obsession with the Backstreet Boys was over, I didn’t write much else during high school. There was illness in the family, I was working and playing hockey, and there just wasn’t much time. As an undergrad I started a couple of novels. One of them I continued writing and editing for about seven years. I finished my bachelors and began working on my first masters in education. It wasn’t until after I was married that I decided it was time to let go of the novel I had finished. I had tried, for three consecutive summers, to solicit an agent to no avail. I wrote letter after letter and constantly updated my 150-word teaser trying to find the right combination of words to sell my book. Describing a 100,000 word book in 150 words is a monumental task.
When I finally published it myself, I did so as an Amazon e-book. And even now I have mixed feelings. It’s like I took a teeny part of my soul and stuck it out there for the world to see and to judge. And now, as a thirty-something, and someone who studied creative writing only post-novel, I can see all of the flaws. The cliches make me cringe. But I still love the story and I still love my characters. It’s an incredibly melodramatic young adult novel that I wrote in my twenties. And it reads like it was written by a twenty-something.
It’s been on Amazon for about a year now. There were sales early on, but nothing astronomical. I mean, how could there be? Finding it is really just coincidental. I’ve had some friends buy it but I’m pretty sure only a couple actually read it. I mean I appreciate the twinge of support but writing is just one of those things for me in which validation is really the key to my motivation. I’m not saying I want to be lied to, but I am incapable of judging my own ability. I mean just because I’ve been writing a long time does not mean I write well. Or just because I have a creative writing masters and successfully defended my thesis of short stories in 2011 does not mean my writing is exceptional. Especially not writing that was done before my grad courses.
I’ve been trying to step up my writing but any moms or dads out there know how difficult getting anything done with little ones is. Blogging had been my only outlet, but now that I have a working computer I made the decision to get back to my writing. I still have three novels in the work currently, one a sequel to my published novel, one a dystopic science fiction novel, and the other a realistic fiction (all geared to teens). I put the twins down for their morning nap about twenty minutes ago, and my 18-month old is just wandering around the dining room and playroom while I sit at the table. When the twins were in the playroom she actually played, by herself and with them. Now that they are asleep, she’s pulling on my pants, trying to hit the keyboard and stealing my phone (and probably deleting apps). And whining because she has no one to entertain her. So now it’s time for me to sign off and go play with miss crotchety mcbitcherson. She really is quite adorable when she’s not whining.
Big. Giant. Sigh.
If only the day were five hours longer (with those five hours being while the girls are asleep). Perhaps at afternoon nap-time I can get some writing done. Or I can just close my eyes and revel in the thirty minutes of peace I get when their naps somewhat coincide.
P.S. The novel is titled, “Breakaway,” and is published under the name Anna Lynn Kingston on Amazon.