Becoming a Writer After All

My life has been a complete surprise yet somehow it has led me back to my first passion- writing.

It just took 40 years of living a strange life before this avid reader and crazy oral story-teller started writing again; this time though, it is in humility. After rinsing out diapers for 19 years in the toilet, it is impossible to stay egotistical. Outwardly, my life is diametrically opposed to anything I could have imagined as a teenager.Yet this strange life I find myself living has brought me more fulfilment and joy than I ever could have imagined as well as a wealth of writing material.

I was an avid reader who loved school. As expected, I completed an Honours Degree in English Literature. By 23, my life was still on track. I considered continuing my studies as a graduate student because I still delighted in an academia and wanted to become a writer.

I loved my life and didn’t for see any changes. I had grown up with one sister, ballet lessons and a library filled with great fiction. I enjoyed gardening, painting and drawing, eating a vegetarian diet, reading spiritual literature and growing in my faith ; I was content.

Suddenly, my life as I knew it, changed dramatically.

I met Michael, who was just passing through Regina, Saskatchewan from Ottawa, Ontario to Prince George, British Columbia and from that very first moment, it felt like the prairie wind had swooped down and scattered all my work and plans. Michael described our first meeting in much kinder terms; he saw fireworks when he first laid eyes on me.

I was not ready for this dramatic change in my life but it was clear to me that this was a call from God. So I baffled my fellow students, profs, advisers, friends and family by saying yes to the unexpected. I did not know anything about my newly chosen lifestyle or even where we would live. I did realize that I was completely ignorant and lacked even the most basic skills required to survive.

I became pregnant before our first wedding anniversary. Instantly, I began to panic because I knew, that once again, I was utterly unprepared. I had never even held a newborn! So I prepared in the only way I knew how and I read every book I could find on pregnancy, birth and baby care.

However all this studying did little to equip me to mother a fragile, completely dependent newborn. For example, as I held my baby in a small bathtub for his first bath, I was very nervous. Guess what? I had a book propped open with one elbow awkwardly holding it open to the right page, while my baby was in the baby bathtub on the table. The book was my security blanket. In fact reading at any odd moment I could grab a few seconds , strong cups of tea plus the mercy of God and a wicked sense of humour have been my strength. God also place His mother in my heart, giving me a mother’s ferocious love and patience.

In the ensuing years, 18 spent pregnant and/or nursing babies, I discovered fulfilment. My call, vocation and witness became the joy of mothering children. Perhaps I could have started writing seven years ago when everyone was in school full-time but realistically there was simply too much physical work involved in running a household for eleven people and helping with the farm animals and our large vegetable garden.

Now I have come around full circle because I have started writing again. Just as I imagined at 16. It just took 40 years of living a strange life before this avid reader and crazy oral story-teller was ready to start writing; this time though, it is in a lot more humility. After rinsing out diapers for 19 years in the toilet, it is impossible to stay egotistical

I Think, I Feel, I Write

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 think low and think high.

Oh, the thinks you can think up

if only you try!
Dr. Seuss 

Secretary typingI have often needed  help during my first year on the internet.  I barely understand 21st century technology. Other writers always answer my how toquestions.  More importantly, fellow bloggers comment on articles, award them and promote my blog without expecting anything in return. What an unexpected example of Christian charity for a ‘stranger’ who is  a novice on the computer. For example,  seeker told me what a Daily Prompt was and how to link to another blog. I had struggled for an hour to get the link to work. Here I unwittingly inserted an extra http so nothing worked!

As well, people often send information on publishing, especially my dear friend Isabel Anders. She even wrote a glowing endorsement to send with my proposals to editors and publishers. I am not sure I live up to her description but it sure sounds impressive.

 Qualifications

“Melanie Juneau—motherofnine9—knows that a woman’s ground of creativity lies as close as her child’s heart. In her delightful stories and memories of mothering nine children, she shows how a Christian mother bathed in love brings all the power and light embodied in her faith to that most important sphere of hope, the family.”

—Isabel Anders, author of Blessings and Prayers for Married Couples and Miss Marple: Christian Sleuth.

 

Badge made for  me at CatholicMom.com by Sarah Reinhard.

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badge made for CatholicMom.com

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Badge made for Catholic Bloggers Network by  of Equipping Catholic Families

thematticuskingdom gave me advice and guidance on how to write on photos

 Thank-you everyone. You can only guess how much I appreciate your constant help, advice and encouragement. I pray that I will pay it forward every day

 

Discovering Our Own Writing Style

womanwritingPaintingA reading prompt once challenged me to:

Write about how you choose to write about others in your blog. (Friends, family, etc)

Seriously, does every other writer logically plan out their articles, essays, short stories and books with their left brain? I simply cannot function like that. When an episode or opinion has popped into my brain, I did not consciously choose to write about that topic or person. It was an eureka moment, that surprised me. I wonder,

“Where did that thought or memory come from? I haven’t thought about him for years!”

Suddenly a story springs to mind.  I have assimilated emotions, reflections, connected quotes and philosophy  and integrated it all with my faith. Initially my right brain takes over, creativity flows like a river of words and I can hardly type fast enough to keep up.  The entire process is largely subconscious.  I unwittingly combine spirit  of creativity with a gift to craft words together.  Writers in past centuries called it the muse. Left logical  brain editing follows afterwards. However, if  I  attempt to write the first draft with my logical left brain, the article  is boring and painful to read.

Hoping that I am not alone in this approach to writing, I have unearthed some powerful and some outrageously funny quotes on the subject of writing:

I do not plan my fiction any more than I normally plan woodland walks; I follow the path that seems most promising at any given point, not some itinerary decided before entry.”
― John Fowles
“There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.”
― W. Somerset Maugham
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien”
is the overflow of emotion into action.”
So it seems that I am in good company. I must admit though,  I discovered that many other authors use an outline, plan and work hard at the chore of writing, yet  still managing  to create magic.  If you are the type of writer who must map out what you will write about that day, then please, write with an outline. My point is that when you begin writing, resist the temptation to imitate other writer’s style. Find your own voice. Write from your heart and soul. Write what you are passionate about and your enthusiasm and joy will open the door to  words which connect with your readers. In other words, you will begin the journey to become a great writer .