Why I write (and why I write for money)

I’ve written since I was a little girl. My grandmother was (and I believe still is) an avid reader of romance novels. When I was around 10 or 11, she bought me my first romance novel. I do not remember the title, but I do remember it was in a Waldenbooks in my local mall. Thus began my love affair with writing.

I’ve always written poetry, short stories, and even a book or two. The books were never published, short stories never submitted, and eventually I did screw up enough courage to start publishing my poetry online.

The rejection of the books I’d written somewhat dampened the urge to write and put my work out there for the world to see. But I continued to write, because I just couldn’t stop. It was like breathing: I HAD to do it.

Although I continued to write, it took a backseat to the rest of my life. I’m a mom. I have 2 kids to support and raise. Working, caring for them, and finding  a few spare minutes to shower became more of a priority than writing.

Then I got laid off. Out of work for an extended period, I needed an income. But I also discovered something else: my kids did better in school and better in general when I wasn’t working outside the home.

This, of course, presented a dilemma. I needed to work in order to feed my kids. But I also needed to be there for them and do what was best for them.

While trying to figure out the best solution to this, something else occurred to me: both of my sons have exhibited artistic talent in one form or another. I encourage my sons daily to explore and nurture their talents. I tell them that they can follow their dreams and be anything they want to be, including an artist (and not one that starves!).

Yet…I’m their mom, and my dreams were gathering dust. How could I convince my sons that they could and should follow their dreams if I didn’t follow my own?

That was when I began the journey to find other ways, besides publishing a novel, to follow my dream of being a writer. I found websites that would pay me to write. I discovered a knack for writing articles that I hadn’t explored before. I began publishing, on those sites and on my own, and discovered that people really did want to read what I wrote.

Now, here I am. With my own site, and others that I write for, doing what I love. My kids now see that it really is possible to follow your dreams, and acheive them. You might have to alter them slightly, you might have to look down paths you hadn’t thought about before, but you can get there if you’re determined enough.