The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys. ~C. Astrid Weber
My world has changed so much since I began writing this book. I lost confidence in what I was doing. I strayed from the story I wanted to write. I felt deadlines that I set for myself fly by. As I have grown as a writer over the last 6 months of finishing this third draft, I have also grown as a human being and a father, husband and son. I now see the silver lining in things I did not feel had them. I look at things with different eyes. Had these things happened sooner I know I would be different. Writing takes time as does growth. It has not been as easy as I thought it would be. It has been much harder than I was told it was going to be. I believed in myself and others believe in what I am doing. That is the greatest blessing out of it all. To have friends that only a few years ago I barely knew push me, prod me and tell me I could do it, that is the best thing. A person’s family is supposed to support them no matter what they have done in the past or what they may do in the future. Friends do not have to do that. My friends chose to because they are the wonderful people they are and I cherish them greatly.
Taking everything that has happened in my life, other than my kids, finishing this book will be my greatest achievement. Six months ago I took a shabby worn out story that I had played with for two years and began to write the way I knew I could. Using books on writing that were suggested to me, using websites, blogs and grammar exercises that have helped me. There are those that have not been there for this ride, and more likely will not be there if it ever ends. They lost out on something that my Grandmother told me I could do, that my Aunt Cella told me I could do. Until 6 months ago I did not believe it. Six months ago I was a caricature of a struggling writer. I had a drinking problem, which I am still working on. I have been sober for all the last six months. My last drink was on New Year’s Eve.
After I quit, my writing started getting better. I thought the opposite would happen, writer’s are supposed to be alcoholics. That is what we are told. I am still working on not drinking, I still want a drink everyday. I fight with myself daily about this. That I have stopped at all is a miracle. Alcoholism runs through both sides of my family. I have my other tics, just as every writer has their demons I have mine. I choose to live for today and to see my kids become adults.
My journey has taken me to places I never dreamed, and yet I know that the journey continues. I have made hard choices about family and who in my family is there for me or for themselves. I am trying to stay sober and take in all that is around me. That I have done all these things tells me I have one hell of support system. From my wife, my cousin Michelle, my friends at work ( you know who you are) and finally to my siblings and parents. You all have stuck by me, no matter how much I may annoy you with e-mails for writing help, or that you may read through a section of a chapter and ask me to rewrite it. To those that read the very early drafts and liked what they saw. To those that went over it with a fine tooth comb, I owe all of you my thanks.
I am seventy thousand words into my novel. I still can’t believe it 70k, I remember being stuck at 36k with the second draft and thinking I would not finish. But all of you have helped me through the rough parts and we are on the cusp of completing this journey together.