It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
OPTIONAL QUESTION: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?
MY ANSWER: One major event in my life not only affected my writing. It inspired me to start writing.
I became a writer pretty late in life. By education, I’m a computer programmer. I worked with computers for almost three decades. I’ve also always been a daydreamer. Since I remember myself, I’ve made up stories and played them out in my head, like a one-woman theater, but I never told anyone about my daydreams. They were my secret. I didn’t write anything down.
To tell the truth, I was a bit embarrassed, afraid of ridicule. I was a professional woman, a single mom with two children. I never thought I could be a writer, never confided in anyone about my daydreams, but I couldn’t get rid of the imaginary characters residing in my head, even if I wanted to. I didn’t. They always helped me through rough patches. I escaped into my daydreams and felt happy there, often happier than in my real life.
In 2002, I got seriously ill – cancer. During my long recovery, my daydreams became more persistent. Besides, I had a lot of free time on my hands and not much energy for anything but sitting on a sofa, reading. I always liked to read. Sadly, I couldn’t find many books I liked. Disgusted with the majority of published works that came my way, I decided I could do better than most books. It was incredibly naïve, of course, just proving my complete ignorance, but I guess, cancer made me brave. I decided to turn one of my daydreams into a written story.
From my first paycheck after I returned to work – I know the exact month, Feb 2003 – I bought a dedicated laptop, off limit to my kids, and started writing my first story. I never stopped writing since then, but I had discovered pretty soon after I started that I didn’t know squat about writing. So the learning process had commenced. It’s still going on.
As for how writing affected me – immeasurably. I learned so much since that fateful month, Feb 2003, I can’t even list everything. My writing brought me close to many fascinating people, other writers, and it made me, I hope, a better and wiser person. It aided my perception and deepened my compassion. I like myself much better now than before I started writing. Maybe my heroes’ courage and kindness rubbed off on me… at least a little. I always liked my heroes more than I ever liked myself.
What about you? How did life affect your writing?