I fell in love with reading after I finished my first Judy Blume book in fourth grade. I remember the house we lived in at the time. I recall the room I was in when I finished that book, and I can even picture what the weather was like that day in Kansas City.
I don't know if that picture is so vividly ingrained in my mind more because Judy Blume is such a gifted author, or because the book really hit home with me.
The book was called "Blubber." I wasn't overweight as a kid, but I was bi-racial, dirt-poor, and the new kid in school, so I could relate to the bullying the protagonist endured. We were allies.
Other than the personal connection, I also felt like I'd found my calling. I'd written stories before then, but after "Blubber," I tried to emulate what Judy Blume did. I tried to write with purpose. To make people feel something. To move them emotionally. And that's what I still try to do.
The struggle to get an agent, to get a novel on the shelves, and to get your name and words out there is tough. You're isolated while working, waiting to feel validated as a "real" writer, and (please, God) hoping to earn a paycheck.
Along the path to publication, I am constantly seeking out sources of inspiration and motivation. I force myself to dig a little deeper when doubt seeps in. I also have to keep reminding myself why I started writing and why I continue writing:
1) For me writing is an escape, and I find it therapeutic, just as it was in elementary school.
2) I am blessed with two babies. Two beautiful minds I can help shape, and hopefully instill a love of words. A love that I already see in my 3 year-old. Whether we're reading "Rexerella" or the back of a cereal box, reading and writing makes her happy. That makes me happy.
So for anyone in need of a little inspiration, or motivation, please check out this link by T.H. Mafi. I've read it too many times to count and I hope you'll love it just as much as I do. Also, please check this post out from Cheryl Angst.
What about you? What spurs you onward?