Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday Writings

The Secrets of a Closet Writer

Pen on paper, a manual typewriter, it doesn’t matter when you’ve got the bug. And by bug I don’t mean bedbugs:) I’m talking about the need, or in my case, passion to write. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer.

When I was around the age of ten I would write short stories on notebook paper. At the time they seemed like long stories until I typed them out onto a few measly pages. It didn’t matter because whatever I wrote came from my heart and soul. Stories about love & happily ever after.

I can recall how my parents laughed at me when I told them I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. It crushed me. They’ll never know how much power their reaction had on me. After that I never mentioned it again. I kept my dream in my heart, feeling somehow that it was a stupid idea, and thus a closet writer was born.

To this day I have no idea why they bought me a typewriter for my 13th Christmas. Knowing them it was simply because I asked for one. After receiving that there was no stopping me. I typed all the time. Writing suddenly became therapy for me, a very private part of me that I shared with no one.

As I got older I continued to write, though life often got in the way and the years slipped by. My stories began to pile up on me. The pages turning crisp and yellow, the plot so outdated in some that serious revision would be needed before submitting to any publisher. Only that didn’t cross my mind. The vision of my parents laughing at me still a painful memory.

Then gradually I let my grown daughter and niece in on my little secret. When my niece indicated to me one day that she wanted to be a writer I felt compelled to reveal my dreams. They were surprised, and insisted on reading something I’d written. They liked it and encouraged me to submit to a publisher. Two short months later I was offered a contract. At fifty years old my dreams had come true! If only I’d realized they were my dreams from the beginning.

My daughter and niece believed in me and gave me the courage to pursue my dreams. THEY didn’t think wanting to become a writer was funny. And receiving that contract from Whiskey Creek Press was a turning point in my life. I wasn’t just a writer. I was a published writer. I came out of the closet.

Now I’m a multi-published author. My first book, “CUPID’S ARROW” with Whiskey Creek Press was on their best sellers list for two consecutive months. Talk about a confidence booster!

I'm sorry I let my parents lack of faith in my dreams keep me from pursuing a writing career when I was younger. Maybe at the time I was just being overly sensitive. But I'm very thankful I shared my dreams with my daughter and niece.


Cheri2628 said...

It is sad that your parents laughed at your dream. Perhaps they didn't realize how much it hurt you when they laughed, or maybe they did have an inkling and that's why they bought you the typewriter. Anyway, I am glad that there was a little part of you that never gave up your dream. Your story can inspire other "seasoned" people like us that it is never too late to achieve your dream. I hope that you continue to enjoy all that life is bringing you now! :-)

Nancy Bristow said...

Debbie...I, for one, am glad you came out of the writer closet. The good thing is that you honed your craft anyway and stepped up and out when you received the encouragement that you needed (you were brave enough to test the waters again when you shared your secret with your daughter and niece.)

More than that I'm glad you came to believe in yourself and succeeded. As a reader who enjoys your stories, I thank you....Nancy:)

Ruby (Mouth) said...

Parents should never laugh at their children's dreams. one of my favorite quotes is about fairy tales and that they teach us not only that dragons are really, but that they can be slain. Kids need to have dreams, just like they need heroes.

Debbie Wallace said...

Oh, I am Cheri!

My parents would never have hurt me intentionally but I don't think they realized how serious I was about writing. And I never mentioned it to them again because of their first response.

Debbie Wallace said...

Thanks Nancy. I'm glad you enjoy my stories. And I have to give a lot of credit to my daughter and niece for believing in me.

Debbie Wallace said...

I agree, Ruby. That's how I raised my daughter and niece. I've always encouraged them and believed in them and they've always made me so proud of them.