So I’ve always been a lover and writer of words. Not necessarily for public consumption but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I love telling stories, making people laugh, and generally sharing too much information.
I’ve secretly dreamed of being a writer since I starting keeping a journal in seventh grade. I started honing my writing skills by describing all the sordid middle school gossip. You know: breakups, makeup, and what we saw written on the bathroom wall at our away basketball game. Real after school special stuff.
I put writing to the side after kids came on the scene. My time was no longer my own so I used that as a convenient excuse. My job, my friends, my other procrastinations provided acceptable ways out of producing any written words. I still thought about writing but thinking about it didn’t get much done.
Then I was suddenly a single mom and I was just lost. I had no way to process the enormous feelings I felt so I decided it might help if I wrote them down. I bought myself a notebook to jot things down as I could, not even daring to type them out on a computer-that would be too writer-y and real.
And then along came Mr. Wonderful. When we met he was a ballroom dancing inner city mentoring tough Army guy (much more on this in another post, I promise!). He also was a man secure enough in himself and his own contributions to encourage the crap out of me.
I remember the first time I got brave enough just to tell Mr. Wonderful I wrote things down. He immediately said reassuringly that he wanted to read whatever I wanted to show him, whenever I was ready.
I was not ready.
But the fact that he wanted to read anything at all made me want to keep writing. And writing. And pretty soon, after nearly two decades of missing the thing I loved more than cupcakes but less than God, Mr. Wonderful, and my kids came pouring out.
I had sticky notes everywhere as I had figured out that if I didn’t immediately write a thought down it was lost in the vast jumble of mama thoughts, to do lists, kid noise and job requirements.
And then I organized them. Me-organizing things! And in a computer no less. I’m barely able to type much less blog, tweet, Facebook, and any the other stuff all the cool kids are doing these days.
When I finally let Mr. Wonderful read something he was genuine. He took the time to tell me what he liked and that he had laughed out loud. He said he would read anything else I let him. He read everything else.
Mr. Wonderful is actually the one responsible for my book, My Pink Champagne Life (shameless plug: available at http://www.amazon.com and http://www.barnesandnoble.com). He made the suggestion that everything I was writing seemed to be headed towards a book.
Digesting that took awhile, but even so, I wrote. And wrote. And edited and wrote. And cursed. And threw lots of words away in frustration. And wrote. And cried. And threw a few tantrums. But still I wrote.
And I found that the more I wrote, the more my kids gave me to write about and the more I was doing what God had placed as a little seedlet in my heart years ago. And I found that the promises he made to me-that there was a purpose for my pain and that he had a plan for me-were being kept.
I ended up with a book that I sent to a wonderful publishing house that actually wanted to turn my words and years and tears into a book. During this process they have treated me like royalty instead of an unknown writer. I’m ever so grateful to the folks at Tate Publishing for helping turn my dream into a tangible thing I can hold in my hands.
So thank you to all who have made me the accidentally on purpose author.
I owe you.
Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015