Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Days That Have Teeth

You know, when you start writing... you don't put the first paragraph on paper for anyone other than yourself--at least I didn't. In fact, I didn't write my first complete story for any other reason than to see if I could do it... and I did. That was twenty-one months ago. It's strange to think that in three months, I'll have been writing for two years.

I don't know what to think of that.

Despite how I present myself--I'm a very private person. If I say it out loud... it doesn't matter to me that others know. The fact that I over-share probably makes that scary, but the reality is that my mind is constantly on the move. A person with OCD thinks of a million different scenarios, problems, issues, concerns every minute.

Since I've been a child, I've always put myself to sleep with a story. It was the only way to get the OCD in my head to shut off. I'd start a story one night... and it would evolve every night until I'd get bored with it and end it... and I'd start a new one. The stories lived in my head and never made it out.

Then, I sat down in October of 2008 and started writing a story about a girl named Sarah who worked for a strange company. She had OCD... and a person trying to kill her. The story evolved and grew and in the beginning... it was me, but ended up being Sarah. Then, the next story tripped in. I'd decided to always write about what I knew... and so each character I write has some aspect of me in them. Sometimes they're obvious but most of the time--it's a secret between my characters and me.

My family convinced me to try to get published. "This is so good. This is so good. You need to get it published." I balked. I didn't really want people to have the option to hate my characters... which is a chance you take when you throw them out into the world. They convinced me to do it.

The time has flown. I've met a lot of fellow writers... and made some lasting friendships. I've had some fun--entertained some people. It's been... fun. I don't think anyone could say that I've given this attempt less than everything. I've sent out a lot of queries. There have been submissions requested. I've received rejections. I've gotten critiques from fellow writers that made me cry. I've revised and revised and revised and revised. I've done this with every bit of me.

Something today that made me rethink it all. Something just made me wonder if this was what I ever wanted. Sometimes--it's the experience and the journey that you were meant to have. The destination was... not ever mine.

I can't not write. Once I started, I knew I'd never stop. I'm not querying anymore though. I'm calling it done. I have submissions out... and whatever happens... happens.

I feel pretty good about this. Maybe tomorrow I'll have changed my mind, but there is a lot of peace in stepping back and saying, "Wow... this just really doesn't matter."

I'm a writer. I have been for twenty-one months. I've made some good friends. I've told some good stories. I don't need more than that--not today anyway.


  1. It's good to have the feeling of making a decision for yourself and knowing it's the right one for you for now. Good for you, Wendy!


  2. You'll always be a writer, as I suspect you always were. Sometimes they just never made it onto paper. I've been writing (seriously) since July 2008. And I'm just now starting the journey into query hell. You beat me by miles.

    Although I totally respect your decision, I do hope you change your mind. I believe in your stories, Wendy. Each and every one that I read held its own little brand of magic. Of course, if it is tearing you apart to put yourself out there with no positive response, I understand why you would want to stop.

    Love you. Muah.