I have always had a secret dream. I want to be an author. Now, if any English teacher I have ever had is reading this, please try to overcome your shock and read on. Yes, I have had difficulties writing. That is, I have difficulty in writing at length. Even now, I write reports in my work as an engineer, and I am known as the king of concise. I am actually quite good at saying what needs to be said in as few words as possible. So, why would I want to write books?
Quite simply, I have something to say. And I think there are people out there who would like to hear. I may be wrong. I might end up only talking to myself. But that’s fine also.
I’m getting ahead of myself here. My ambition to write was a secret. I had many, many ideas, which I developed into elaborate story lines in my head, but translating those ideas onto paper was a problem. I recall one pivotal moment where I decided that enough was enough, I was going to finally commit those stories to paper. I sat down and stared at a blank piece of paper for about half an hour. Not one word would come. I was forced to the conclusion that I simply could not be an author. So let go of my dream, and it retired to some dank corner of my brain.
Time moved on (which is something that is does rather well). I got married. My wife and I would tell stories together to her niece and nephew. And the stories were pretty good, if I do say so myself. I would come up with complicated plot twists, and she would resolve them. One day, she made the suggestion that we could write stories for children together. Thus a new dream began.
I learned some things from this dream that we were sharing. First, a dream that is too big for one person may be just right for two. While there are many things that I cannot do, together my wife and I form an extremely talented duo that could do just about anything. Second, dreaming is not necessarily about achieving, it is about reaching. From its little corner on my mind, my old dream started to stir.
Eventually, my wife became the first to hear of my hidden aspiration. She was not sure if I was serious. Then I started telling her my ideas. And she started adding her own ideas. Our stories mingled and became better. For the first time, I was able to write them down.
Life happened (which is something it does very well). Both of us were going to school. We had a baby. We moved across the country. I began my career. We had another baby. I started grad school. We both knew that we needed to write, but we always told ourselves we would do it later. I have come to understand what later actually means, at least to me: an indefinite time frame in the future that allows me to justify to myself that I’m not not doing something, I’m just not doing it yet. I knew that I needed to get going.
Then, a friend of ours published a book. (You can read about it here.) I not only enjoyed the book, but she also posted on her website the number one secret for how to get started in writing. You write. Some secret, huh? Well, I was not doing it, and I needed to be. Here’s to new beginnings.