It all started with a book. At least that’s the way I choose to remember it. I could mention the title, but it doesn’t matter to this story, so I won’t. One night, I sat on the couch and turned the last page with tears running down my cheeks. Not the pretty heroine kind of tears. No. Big, wet ones that make your nose run and turns your mascara into a black river.
I was pissed. I was in love with the hero. And now, his life would go on without me.
Stuff would happen to him that I didn’t know about. All because the author had written, The End.
After blowing my nose, I sat there, fondling the book cover and decided I wanted to write. Write something so powerful that it makes girls cry, women fall in love, and readers dread, truly dread, the last page.
So, the next day… well maybe not the next day, but definitely the day after, I sat in front of my laptop and wrote my own story with my own hero. It goes without saying that he’s super hot. I’d totally marry him, have his babies, and rub his feet.
And the sex. The sex would be amazing. Start-my-hair-on-fire sex.
I read my first draft and didn’t cry. But I didn’t throw-up either so I wasn’t discouraged. People kept talking about this editing thing, so the way I figured it, I had another shot.
Turning to the internet, I found interviews with authors. Spent days reading them in hopes they’d share their secrets.
What I saw were comments like, I don’t plot or outline because my characters talk to me. I hear their voices in my head and simply translate them to the page. And the very worst thing… I’m so blessed to have been given the talent to write.
Yeah, if I ever meet that girl, I’m stabbing her with my salad fork.
But that nasty little voice in my head grabbed hold of the t-word and wouldn’t let go.
Maybe that’s why my story wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. So-and-so had passed me by when handing out writing talent.
All that enthusiasm about my hero and my sassy, yet feminine heroine fizzled. Even the thought of hair-flaming-sex couldn’t arouse excitement.
Then, one day Yahoo took pity on me, and tossed me to Margie Lawson’s website.
I took her on-line classes. I hooked up with an editing partner. Learned how to analyze best-selling authors’ work. Hung out at her house with a bunch of super talented writers. And became a Margie junkie, addicted to her brand of teaching.
And you know what she taught me? Those crazy writers who say crap like, my characters talk to me… well, they’re crazy.
Good writers may be talented but that doesn’t matter. At least not as much as I thought it did. The writers who win, work harder.
That filled me to over-flowing with hope and suffocated that bitchy voice in my head.
Because I can work hard.
I can get published.
I can make chicks cry.
I can make them fall in love.
Understanding that is the very best thing Margie taught me and everyone else who is fortunate enough to come into contact with her.
That knowledge is the very best gift I’ve ever received and the one I am most grateful for.
Because it changed my life.