It is very easy to give up on writing when you have enough rejections to wallpaper a room. After all, why should we waste effort for something that may never be published? Why should we continue to write year after year as the rejections continue to pile up. But that is not the crux of my writing journey.
We write because we have to. It is like breathing; all I know is that I am utterly miserable when I am not writing. I cannot give up.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was 9. I wrote in high school–a lot of Civil War dramas that ended up at the bottom of my bedroom closet–I learned so much about the American Civil War that I could have taught a class at 16.
When I was in my 20’s, I dabbled and even managed to finish a manuscript while I was going to college and submitted it the old fashioned way, by postal mail. I received a lot of encouragement but looking back, I realized that that manuscript needed a lot of work.
In my 30’s I was busy getting married, having babies and working. My writing went on the back burner. Then when I turned 40 and we moved to Ireland, I knew for certain that I really wanted to concentrate on my writing. Those seven years turned out to be my most productive: I buckled down and wrote four manuscripts, proving not only that I could do it but that I had a lot to learn about my craft and that my writing could improve with each manuscript.
And all through my life, while I came in and out of writing, there was something inside me that pushed me not to give up on my dream. The fact that my writing journey has spanned almost 40 years from initial intent (circa 1975) to publication (approximately 2015) is not only astonishing to me but very ironic as well. I am by my very nature, a very impatient person. I want everything and everything done yesterday.
I have learned that enough desire and persistence can trump impatience any time.