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Why I Write

I have received numerous emails, messages, comments, and encouragement from more people than I could’ve imagined or expected since starting this blog, a little more than a week ago. I have also been asked “why?” As in, “why are you writing this?” Or “why are you sharing personal, intimate details about your family life?” Or “who are you writing this for?” These questions aren’t asked in any negative way. I think it’s curiosity.

I am in the fortunate position that I could, theoretically, take the next three years and literally do nothing more than raise and enjoy my children in our Annapolis home. I am not working, as in I’m not officially employed by anyone. I truly wish that I could be satisfied with just that, but I’m not. There is an inner hunger in me, a desire to serve and create in a capacity that is greater than myself. I wish to channel this drive through writing.

Ten years ago, I completed my second novel which is inspired by my journey from Miami to Seattle the summer of 2009. I completed my first novel a couple years before that, at least the first I would want to pursue. I set my first actual novel on fire, and to the dust that book shall remain. My books are unpublished and will remain so until the right opportunity presents itself. Since I’ve been home, I’ve drafted children picture books, brainstormed future novels, and outlined what I hope will be an nonfiction book about education that I hope inspires open dialogue about schools today.

I had my first interaction with a potential literary agent a few weeks ago. I shared my completed novels and was offered a deal that would essentially give my books away for free and require changes to what I consider essential to its essence. I’ve read so many autobiographies from artists who made compromises they regret for the sake of commercialization. It’s not that I’m not willing to make compromises or I’m not open to feedback. I am. What I’m not willing to do is give up this vision of what I believe it could become. I believe the rawness of my work, its unabashed vulnerability, is what makes it unique in a world so quick to blur the imperfections.

When I shared this perspective with a friend, she asked, “why not self publish?” That’s a fair question. I don’t want to self publish because I want to see my books one day displayed on the windows of Barnes and Nobles. That doesn’t happen with self-published works. Most literary agents or publishers won’t even consider a work that’s been previously self-published. For me to land a big name publisher, I need a literary agent. To land a literary agent, you need more than a manuscript. You need an online presence and an established audience. That’s my biggest motivator for creating this blog.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three years. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay home or if I’ll need to go back to work. I know I could easily walk back into a classroom, if that’s what I wanted to do, but I’m not sure if that is what I would want to do. I want to keep my options open. I wish the world considered being a stay at home mom a job, but employment-wise, it’s a three year gap. At least if I could build this blog into something more, it could maybe open up more opportunities for me and my family.

In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to write my blog posts, my novels, my poems and stories, my nonfiction books, and I’ll do so because it brings me joy. If the right opportunity to publish comes around, I’ll have plenty of work to share.


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