Last night I was privileged to attend a meeting at my local Keene Public Library, featuring guest speaker Lisa Gardner. Ms. Gardner is an uber-bestelling author in the crime/suspense/thriller category and if you haven’t read anything by her, get started today. I’ve been a fan since her first major novel and have eagerly waited every year for her newest arrival on the bookshelves. Lisa spoke for over an hour and detailed her writing career journey that started when she was in high school and continues on to this day, and I must say, I was highly inspired by her words. I can see why she is such a great writer because she is an amazing speaker, and I’ve always felt the two go hand in hand.
The underlying theme of the talk was that she always felt she was someone born to write. She loved putting pen to paper, creating characters and moving them along complicated and thrilling plot-lines since she was little more than a child. She penned her first novel during her senior summer in high school – not too small a feat. She kept writing throughout college, even though she didn’t major in english, and then onwards into her career life. She never stopped. Her writing was something she simply did because she had to, wanted to and felt compelled to.
How many of us who write can make that statement truthfully? I’m not talking about the desire to write or the hope to write when our lives slow down and finally give us time to. I’m talking about that driving need, that all consuming compulsion to get our words committed to paper ( or laptop). That mental toughness that compels us to keep at it, no matter how much – or how little – time we have to devote to it.
I’ve shared before how I’ve always written. I’ve never stopped since I learned how to use a pencil, pen, typewriter then computer/laptop. Nothing has stopped me. Not when life intervened and I had to go back into the workforce; not when I had my child; not through sickness, tragedy, plague,pestilence or war. Okay, those last three don’t apply to me, but you get the idea I’m trying to convey. I write. That’s what I do. I’m a writer. That’s what I am. Nothing can stop me from doing what I love. And nothing will.
As writers, we need to network, talk to one another, and share our ideas, our journey’s, our goals and our triumphs. Listening to Lisa Gardner’s journey and how she navigated through her writing career was a very soul searching hour for me. It made me appreciate all the hard work and sweat I put into my writing even though there are days I know no one will ever read what I’ve written, or maybe not like it if they do. I write because I love it, I am compelled to do it, and I get so much satisfaction out of doing it.