Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The beginning

I didn't always want to be a writer. When I was younger I wanted to be a vet, since I loved animals so much. Then I figured out that they had to put animals asleep. I don't think I could have handled that, so I changed my mind to being a nurse who worked with babies. Then I realized I'd have to draw blood, help deliver a baby and sometimes the babies didn't always make it. I couldn't handle that either. When I graduated high school, I started going to college to become a teacher. I could handle being around kids every day. But then I realized how much I didn't like college. After going for a year and a half, I decided not to go back. I met my hubby and got married and had four kids and have never looked back.

Do I regret not finishing college? Sometimes. But my life has gone exactly where I want it to go. As I look back now, I see a lot of signs that I was meant to be a writer. I made up stories a lot when I was a teenager and secretly typed them up when no one was looking. I thought everyone did it. I also thought everyone had stories in their heads all the time. It was normal for me. I didn't realize how much I loved making things up until I had my first child. After my second child I thought I'd pursue publication.

I never thought it would be such an emotional rollercoaster. And SO hard. But it has all been worth it. I've met so many amazing people while chasing after my dream. I wouldn't trade my experiences for the world.

I've come a long way since I wrote my first book. I'm almost finished with my 7th. It's crazy to think I've written seven books. And out of those seven, my 3rd and 6th are the ones that have gotten contracts. So many things have happened in the past few years, both good and bad. I've had an agent, left an agent, published a book and have a sequel under contract. It's been a crazy ride and it's not over yet. I'm entering the query waters again with my new book soon. I'm just as scared as I was with my first book. But I've learned these past few years that if you love something, you don't give up, even if you get a hundred rejections. You  may have to set a book or two aside and work on something else for a while, but if you love writing, keep going. Good things will happen when the time is right.

What made you want to be a writer?

20 comments:

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Best of luck to you on the queries. And as for the degrees, I've found some of the wisest people to be the people who never spent a day in higher education.

Julie Luek said...

Life does seem to have a way of taking twists and turns in ways we never could anticipate. I have degrees, none of which have anything to do with writing, and I had a long career in a non-writing field. But I don't regret either investment and now I'm at a point I can start sowing time into my writing. To me, you're way ahead of my curve.

Jenny S. Morris said...

We have a very similar history. I even went to 1 semester of school in the pre-nursing program. Then I realized the same thing. Babies die. And with teaching I wanted to be a music teacher but realized I didn't like choir music enough. And when I look back I realize all my pretending and storytelling was a good indicator I wanted to write.

Jessie Humphries said...

I never developed a desire to write until my third year of being an attorney and my second baby. In fact, I sort of hated the idea of writing for the most part of my life. But found I was somewhat limited in creative hobbies with young kids. I totally love it now, though :)

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I've always wanted to a writer (yes, I'm one of THOSE ones...) but I didn't get serious about it until I was pregnant with my second baby, we'd just moved two hours away from all of our friends and family for my husband's job, and I only had to take a few classes to graduate, so i wasn't overloaded with school. I was so sick and miserable and my one year old slept all the time and had a ton of health problems, and I could NOT watch one more rerun of Gilmore Girls or The Nanny, so I started to write a book that no one else will ever read, but still has a special place in my heart for getting me to write.

Nicole said...

Congrats on that journey! I'm one of those "always wanted to be a writer" gals. :)

Tammy Theriault said...

Looks like we both have the same journey...I wanted to be a vet, but for same reasons decided not to, and I didn't finish college, but I've always had writing in my back pocket! :-)

Myrna Foster said...

I've loved making up stories for as long as I can remember. I also wanted to be a vet, but then I realized how often I'd have to watch animals die. Yeah.

Good luck with your querying! One of my CPs parted ways with her agent last year, but once she started querying again, it didn't take her long to sign with one who is a much better match. I wish you the same.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Seven.
That sounds about right. I still have a few more stories to write before I will probably see publication. :)

ilima said...

What a great story. And it sounds familiar. I think a lot of writers are in the same boat. Don't give up is right!

Konstanz Silverbow said...

That is so exciting! It makes me so happy to hear your story. I once upon a time wanted to be a nurse and teacher too.

How did I know I wanted to be a writer instead? An idea popped in my head and I thought "Oh, writing! I can do that" Of course than I tried and it didn't work so well.

Not a week later a friend told me her mom and a group of women were starting a writers group and I was invited. My life has never been the same.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Samantha May said...

Great story! The funny thing is, I love college and I'll be in college for as long as I possibly can. I guess we differ there :P

I guess it was my love for reading that made me want to be a writer. I want my books to make others love to read too!

Madeline Jane said...

Love the advice! Just keep going. That's exactly what I needed to hear today, thanks. :)

Krista McLaughlin said...

We have a similar beginning. I wanted to be a baby nurse, but blood makes me puke and I couldn't deal with the loss of life either. I decided to go to college to be a teacher since I still love kids. Didn't work out. I did get a degree and I'm a teacher, but I'm an infant teacher - so I still get to be with babies all day. :)

I love hearing how people started writing! You've accomplished so much so far and I know you're not done. :) You've got more great books to share with the world.

Angela Brown said...

It is interesting the paths we take to get to where we're actually meant to be. Glad you made it to your path of being a writer :-)

I'm a late comer to accepting my call as a writer. I should have and could have been writing long ago but didn't have faith, particularly in me. That belief is building with each small step forward.

Kristin Baker said...

I wanted to be a zookeeper in 1st grade. Then a computer programmer in 7th (until I learned it required great chunks of math). I could never do anything that involved blood and/or death, and my hat's off to all the heroes who do, if I wore a hat. However, I write pretty good stories that include a lot of blood and death (I'm morbid that way, but kids don't die in my stories), and I've loved books and words since kindergarten.

Red Boot Pearl said...

I thought I was going to be a fire fighter for a while, and then I took a life guarding course when I was 16 and I realized I couldn't pull the 250 lb guy out of the water... and it made me realize I wasn't exactly cut out for the rescue life. Kudos to any women who do this, but it wasn't for me. I'm still working on the writing thing, but what's awesome is that we all have a different path to where we want to go.

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh---love this. And you will do amazing, Chantele. Think how emotionally strong you are--you're ready to conquer this publishing world! Can't wait to hear your adventures. :D

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

This was fun to read! I've wanted to be a writer since I was 10 years old. I couldn't find the stories I really wanted to read, so I decided I'd just have to write them myself!

I'm on my 9th book now, and it's been a wild ride. I'm excited for you and where you're going!

Kelley Lynn said...

What a great story. I wanted to be a writer about 2 years ago. The voices wouldn't leave me alone ;)