My first book came around by way of desperation. We had just moved to California and I found myself in a total funk. No money to spend on things, no friends to do things with–I was held up inside my little townhouse in a bad neighborhood with two small children and a husband that was always at work.
I needed an outlet. I needed something that would keep my hands busy and away from the Ben and Jerry’s.
I had started writing seriously before we ever moved. My first writing effort went into a young adult novel that I have yet to ever do anything with. (Ironically, I took an online writing course through UCLA when the Cheese was just a baby.)
By the time that the Monkey came around, I had started a blog and was trying my best to officially become a columnist. I had wanted to be a columnist ever since high school. Don’t ask me why, but I decided early on that I wanted to be a syndicated columnist and what makes that funny is that I had no idea what the word “syndicated” even meant.
Everything hit at once. I started and published the book, was picked up by a paper to run a weekly column in the Sunday paper, and received an email from Disney asking me to be a blogger on one of their many websites. Prayers had been answered. It seemed that I could finally call myself a writer/blogger/columnist–all of the above–because when you get paid, you can call yourself a professional.
Now here I am, 3 years later. My column’s still running. My voice as a writer getting stronger with each new week. The Disney gig ended almost as soon as it started, but it was great while it lasted. My book sits proudly on the shelf, nothing making me happier than knowing that it makes people–especially mothers–laugh. The best was when it was for sale recently at our elementary school’s book fair–so proud to see it displayed next to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and classics like Superfudge. (Which is all due to Lisa bringing up the idea at a PTA meeting and Monique for making it all happen. I’m blessed to have made such sweet new friends.)
And now I’ve gotten the itch again. The itch to write another book. The kind of itch that the more you think about it, the more you want to scratch it. Since I’ve done it once, the whole publishing thing, I keep thinking, “It’ll be a piece of cake this time!” but writing a book is just like giving birth–a lot of time, effort, and misery goes into it before you ever see the final product.
So, will I? Will I stay up to 4 o’clock in the morning like I did the first time revising and editing? Will I invest the energy and time that it takes to get it done?
Sure. Why not.