Becoming a Writer

Becoming a Writer, guest post by Sandi Smith @sandi_author @iReadBookTours

Somewhere, in the darkness of the night, I became a writer.  With my heart pounding, and words flying willy-nilly through my head, waking me from a sound sleep, I wrote the first few precious words down on paper, only to go back to sleep, finding myself constantly being harassed by these “precious words” while I was, once again, trying to sleep.  God knows I definitely need my nine hours of sleep, or I am stronger than a tornado, disrupting any living thing that is in my path…growling like a bear, the next day.  But it was what it was, and I entered into the make-believe world of fantasy and imagination, and smiled as I placed by mind and body on the conveyer belt of writing that would transport me through the next nine years of disappointments, smiles, tears, and the never-ending support of my wonderful husband and family.

Becoming a Writer, guest post by Sandi Smith @sandi_author @iReadBookTours
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Writing a book or a story.  Sounds so serene and peaceful, doesn’t it?  When it all started, it seemed so basic.  So easy.  But it really was not any of these.  It was hard work, trying to reflect my deepest thoughts into a document on my computer.  Spending hours just staring at words that had been written.  Words that never made any sense.   Just staring back at me as if to say, “Well, we’re waiting”.  Taunting me to make a move, and to set the words into any kind of action.  Daring me to take those same words that had entered my thoughts, without my permission, and make a story.

Then, without ever seeing it hit you, the editing makes its ugly appearance.  It approaches you, like a soft summer storm passing by, and you say, “this is not so bad”, but watch out.  The clouds darken, and they release their load.  Editing is unbelievably difficult.  When the book is ready, you smile, holding the large pile of papers to your chest in a fond embrace, and then you hand it over for someone to review, believing that you are a great writer.  Don’t believe that for a second.  You’re not quite prepared for how stupid you can be.  It is an eye opener, for sure, and the storm can drown you.  But you make it through with a little swearing and crying, and lots and lots of cookies, but gratitude must be shown for editors. Their job is difficult, and they do make the story better. 

After gaining thirty pounds, I believed that I was on my way to sharing what I thought were very nice stories, and I was so proud and excited.  Here they were.  They were real.  I could hold them.  I remember lifting the covers of each book.  Slowly, I turned pages, one at a time, deeply breathing in the smell of the ink that I had always enjoyed so much when I read all of the other books that other authors had written, and I smiled.  I was an author.  The time had come to set my creations free.  They were crying out to me, encouraging my heart and mind, begging me to set them free for everyone to share and enjoy.  But, after it was all said and done, there they sat at #999,950 out of 1,000,000 books.   It broke my heart.

What is so personal to you is not as important to someone else.  So, I had to decide, at some point, that the work I was doing was something I really loved doing.  Something I believed in.  Maybe I needed to believe that God wanted me to share my story so one person, somewhere, would read my words and be inspired.  There must have been a reason why my fingers couldn’t stop typing the words that spilled from my brain.  A reason to continue with hope and faith that something, some day and some how, would bring my stories to light, and, hopefully, make their entrance onto a bookshelf or a table.  Not a bookshelf or table that was hidden way in the back of the store so that no one could see the beautiful picture cover that dressed my books, but one day, like magic, would appear when you first walked through the front door of that wonderful, large bookstore. 

My soul.  My deepest inner thoughts.   I can visualize them sitting and  waiting on that table, exposed for everyone to see, piled on top of each other, proud and glorious, smiling at me, silently yelling out that someone did take the time to understand what I had to say, and that all of the lonely days and nights, the nine years of no sleep, were all worth the tears and the heartbreak that I had endured.

If that doesn’t happen, which is a true reality because of the competition that is part of this business, you sit back and look at what you have accomplished. Not everyone can do what you have done.  Maybe you won’t sell 5,000 books.  Maybe you will only sell ten.  Maybe you spent almost all of your retirement money, because self-publishing is so expensive, but you did it.  You made a mark; albeit, maybe a very small mark, but it took guts.  Guts to expose your thoughts, and to leave yourself wide open for criticism.  That is not the work of a loser.  That is the work of an adventurer who took a deep breath, reached deep down inside their soul, and, slowly, took small steps, which quickened with hope and excitement, taking them into the world of dreaming.  A world that is very difficult to hold on to, but also very difficult to set free.

Somewhere in the night, I became a writer.  The words have stopped, and the money is dwindling, so I am getting my nine hours of sleep once again.  My husband is happy, but deep inside I am feeling a gnawing presence, and the old familiar words have started to make their existence known while I am asleep.  Should I open the door once again, or do I turn onto my other side and just go back to sleep?  Am I prepared for the hard work and heartbreak that accompanies writing a book?  Time will tell, but what is moving around inside my brain may not let me rest much longer.   I am hooked to writing, and I am sure that, eventually, I will open the door to let the words into my world once again.  Hope and belief are forever waiting at my door.

Becoming a Writer, guest post by Sandi Smith @sandi_author @iReadBookTours
Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.

Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Ends July 28, 2018


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