To be honest, it’s been a bit of a journey to get to where I am today. There’s still a journey for me to get where I want to go as well, but I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t gone through so much.
I was at a low point in my life, emotionally. I hadn’t wrote in more than a few years, thanks to the misguided belief that I wanted to be a police officer. What a waste of time, and money, that endeavor was. I had given birth to twins, and while I love them dearly, it was a rough first year.
In hindsight I’m at the point where it’s safe to say I was dealing with some degree of postpartum depression. I never would have admitted it back then, but the signs are all there. Those people that I relied on just felt as if they weren’t there, and my friends were just gone. I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. I wanted to go out, but the idea was taking out two small babies was just overwhelming. My husband was there for me, and he always has been (he’s the best support a person can ask for), but I still felt alone and overwhelmed all the time.
During my girls’ second year I started to get the feeling that I was losing myself. I was so focused on my role as mother that I was forgetting that I was a person before them too. I started looking back at all the writing I had done while I was in high school. I missed it. I tried to get back into it, going through the motions as if it had only been a day since I wrote last. That attempt was abysmal.
Then one day I found this show called Teen Wolf on MTV. I loved it, everything about it. I ate it up and couldn’t wait for new episodes. But the best part about it for me? It sparked my imagination and started the engine of my creativity again. It had been so long since I’d seen it last I was overwhelmed by it. I couldn’t control the flow rate, and for a while I drowned in inspiration.
I accumulated page after page of rough scenes for this idea that I hadn’t yet come up with a name for. The girl, who became known as Tara Murphy, was a part of something big. And it just continued to grow! But I soon realized that I couldn’t control it.
What had started as a simple story evolved into a book, then two books and finally settled as a saga. Somewhere along the line a name came to me, The Wolves of Wicklow Woods. It just felt right, but I was curious. Taking to the internet, I found something interesting. Around the same time a small brewery in Ireland was in its formative years. It is called Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co. I was giddy, to be honest. I took it as a sign I was in the right direction. Months would pass before the truth hit me though, and with a deep breath and a pang of regret I stepped back from Tara Murphy’s story.
I wasn’t ready for a project of it’s magnitude. I didn’t have the tools required to tackle such an enormous project. So I stacked all those pages of notes and stuck them in a binder to wait for me to be ready for them.
And I continued to write. In October of 2016 I stumbled across NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was a bit overwhelmed by it, but during the last minutes of October 31st I decided to go for it. That month I wrote my first full length novel, Killer Instinct. I had never been so excited, nor lost.
I plotted no part of that story, and it shows on a reread. I haven’t edited it yet, but eventually I will. I liked the story line, but it needs some TLC. It was a first step.
Months later I wrote my second novel, which only came in just under 50k words. I learned more from it, and learned about different plotting methods, even found one that worked for me.
Then I wrote Stranded Moon. The first draft came in at 73k words, and the story made sense when I read over it again. I’m learning with each round of editing as well, currently working through line editing.
It will only be a matter of time before Tara Murphy comes to the front of the line, her name is coming up. When it’s her time, I’ll be ready for her.
Writing has allowed me to find myself again, and I can’t be more thrilled about that. I just wish I hadn’t paid for criminal justice classes for all those years before getting here…