How the Girl Became a Novelist: A Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed of being a writer. Her mother wasn’t surprised. She knew the thing her child loved most in the world was stories: hearing them, reading them, watching them, making them up. She bought more paper.Once she learned to hold a pencil, the girl wrote poetry, stories, diary entries, letters, rants, apologies, invitations, and dreams. Some she showed to others and some were only for herself. There was a kind of undefined urge at the heart of her and the only time it didn’t pull at her and make her restless was when she was writing.

She wrote less as she started to grow up and found herself surrounded by friends and classmates who wanted her to go out and do things. She went with these friends, but mostly she hung back, watching, cataloging, thinking, analyzing, but not really exactly being there, in the moment. She became known as “sort of weird” and “a bit of a wallflower.” She liked most moments best in hindsight, on paper in her journal.

At the same time, people were telling her it was time to grow up and decide on a path for her life, one that would lead to financial solvency and a good life. She decided to teach, in part, because teaching would let her live a life of books and learning. She had always liked school. In college, she kept writing, even taking some creative writing classes. She learned that she really wasn’t that good at it, that others were better, that her work was not literary, but it still satisfied something in her that wasn’t satisfied any other way.

As life went on and became full of jobs and responsibilities and a grown-up social life, she wrote less and less. She told herself she was waiting to feel inspired and allowed the hours of her days to fill with her work as a teacher and the needs of her friends and family and community. She didn’t let writing go entirely. She played and poked at it from time to time and sometimes liked what she made.

Then she became a mother. Maybe it was something about creating life, but she found she was writing again. Pages and pages in her journal. She wrote when life fell apart and came back together. When there was a peaceful moment. Late at night when her husband slept. At her desk at work. Oddly, now that she had less time for it, she wrote more.

By the time she became a mother again, two states and a new husband later, she felt the hole that not-writing left in her life keenly. The part of her left unexpressed ached, but she struggled to create anything in the few minutes of “me time” she could pull out of each day.

Her husband was a good man, and he saw this. He loved her and wanted to help and he was a techy sort of fellow, so he went online and found a meetup for a novel-writing group that was local to them. He gave her a gentle push to go check it out. She wasn’t hard to persuade.

The other writers welcomed her into their coven. They shared their magic and wisdom and helped her find her own. She began to write more often, though it still took a very long time to finish things and she often failed to do so.

From years of teaching, the girl knew that getting things done required organization, so she decided to start scheduling writing time and keeping stats, tracking how much she wrote each day and promising herself she would indeed write every day, even if it was only a page. It worked! She started finishing things. Her stories began to get out of her mind and onto pages where others could read them. She polished them until they were shiny and bright, or dark and reflective.

One of them pleased a publisher and was turned into a book. Some shorter pieces did the same thing and soon she had an Amazon page with several books on it and a few people who wanted to read her words.

Today, she is happier than she can remember being, spinning worlds in words and throwing them into websites and libraries and bookstores where you can read them. And she is living happily ever after, so far.

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Author  Bio: Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day, and a novelist by night, which makes her a superhero all the time. She’s the author of the Menopausal Superhero series. Book 2: Change of Life, just released April 21, 2016 (but you should read book 1 first). You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/samanthadunawaybryant or on her website/blog http://samanthabryant.com.

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