I had started and stopped so many different novels over the years that I had absolutely no confidence I would ever finish one, much less find a way for people to read it. I didn't say too much to anyone, it was a dream that I just held tightly to myself. When random thoughts would occur, I wrote them out, hoping to finally break through the barrier between beginning aproject and finishing it.
So, I took hold of a great book - Julia Cameron's "Artist's Way" and began writing every single day. There wasn't anything specific that I was writing, it was just words on paper (well, screen). I was still in the middle of my Master's Degree, so I didn't stress over it, but I did begin writing a novel again (not the Bellingwood series). And then, I set that book aside one more time. I was so disappointed in myself, but too busy in class to think about it any more than absolutely necessary.
One night, in the middle of November, I was reading a self-published novel and was absolutely in love with the characters and plot lines. It hit me. I had been writing something that was too big for me to write rapidly. But, there was something I could write about ... people I know and love. Just like the author of the books I was reading had uncovered wonderful characters, I had a ready source of them ... my friends and former church members, people who lived in the many small communities where I had grown up, stories of people my friends knew in their lives. I had more stories than I knew what to do with!
My friends always told me I should write a book with my stories and I realized that I could turn those into the backgrounds for my fictional characters. I started writing ... and writing ... and writing. Characters came alive under my fingers. Within one month I had a full-blown novel ... written! I had actually finished it! The few people I allowed to read it and swore to secrecy (because if it sucked, I wasn't telling anyone) assured me that I should move forward and keep growing with this. I did exactly that.
From the time I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I would sit at my desk in my room with a blank sheet of paper and a pen or pencil poised over it, hovering while I waited for my mind to release the words. Some days, that pencil would hover there indefinitely until I gave up, threw it down and picked up a book to read. Other days, I would begin stories and then of course, never finish the entirety of them.
My confidence has returned, so I will go back to some of those plot lines, pick up the stories and do my best to find their conclusion.
Polly Giller arrived in Bellingwood and began to stir the community's imagination, allowing many to look at their dreams differently. Polly Giller gave me back my dream.