My writing history and journey is probably one similar to yours and a thousand other stories.
I started writing when still at school. It was my version of some book I read at the time and liked . I think it was The Green Grass of Wyoming, the last book in the My Friend Flicka series. It has disappeared into the ether, never to be recovered. It was not my only attempt to write my version of some other author’s book. Strange, I never seem to finish those. They are stuck under the bed at the bottom of a box. I do not apologise for it. I probably learnt more than I realise.
For the next twenty five years, I was a closet writer, never letting anyone read what I wrote. I mean NO BODY, not my husband, my mother, or my children, nor did they care what I wrote. There was no encouragement, no support, no interest from them. In fact, I would have got more encouragement and support if I dressed dolls or iced cakes. My writing was ‘just something’ I did. It was a case of ‘put that away and do this’.
I literally finished one story, drew a line and started the next story. So I now have a body of work sitting under the bed waiting for me to get stuck into typing them up. This is another thing I do not regret. It gave me a chance to develop my ‘voice’ and my style of writing.
For all those years I never heard of writing groups. When I did and asked about them, I was told ‘oh we meet and read our work and we are given homework to do.’ My reaction? ‘No one is telling me what to write.’ So, I wouldn’t go near them.
When I did finally visited a writing group, I was promised I wouldn’t have to do the ‘homework’ if I didn’t want to. And believe me, I still don’t do ‘homework’. Ask anybody who is in a group with me and they will confirm I seldom read my work, rarely do the homework, and even rarer do I give critique. (I tend to pick up the red pen and start editing.)
About 10 years ago I ventured into the realm of self-publishing. Did I get burnt? Not by the company. They were exceedingly helpful. However, the process of self-publishing had a 2-fold effect. One was I learnt how much I did not know. So I spent years scouring the internet and teaching myself. The other left me soul-dead. I found the process creatively killing.
It has taken me this long to recover the joy I find in putting pen to paper and get going again. Now to keep the momentum going.
What is your writing history and journey?