by Ruth J. Hartman
Writing is a journey. There’s so much to learn. When I first started writing for publication, I didn’t know any other authors. I wasn’t active online much and hadn’t tapped into the amazing, widespread fellowship of authors worldwide. Over the years, these fellow writers who are now friends have given me invaluable advice on everything from how to use certain keys on my computer to giving opinions on blurbs I’ve written for new books. Everything was new. The more I learned, the more I realized I had yet to learn. So much information.
At first, it was intimidating. How was I going to absorb and remember all that I read and heard? It wasn’t as if I was just coming out of college. I’d been to college years before, but not for anything writing-related. In fact, it was about as far away as you could get. I was a dental hygienist. So when I did start to seriously write for publication, I felt as if I was getting a late start. But that’s the beauty of using the written word. It’s never too late. As long as you have something to say, say it. If you have something to share, don’t keep it to yourself. Books are a treat for the mind, a gate to new adventures, a relaxing oasis in the midst of life’s turmoil and strife.
It was refreshing to discover that to be a writer, you don’t have to have a special room in which to write, or an ornate desk. If you are a writer, you write. Anywhere. Anytime. On a computer, phone, or a tiny scrap of paper torn from the corner of an old phone book. I know from experience! I had an idea and knew I might forget it if I didn’t write it down. The phone book was the only available surface.
Normally, I write at a counter set up with my laptop. Lately, however, we’ve been in the middle of a home remodel and my counter isn’t available. But, my recliner works nicely. That is, until one or both cats decide they want my attention and don’t understand why they can’t nap on the keys of the laptop.
In the warmer months, I like to write out in our enclosed porch. I’m continually serenaded by goldfinches, chickadees and several varieties of woodpeckers.
But I have to say, the most tranquil spot I ever found to write was while on vacation a few years ago. We’d taken a trip to Mackinac Island. My husband and I were fortunate enough to stay in a hotel that was 150 years old. The rooms were small but unique, and the woodwork throughout the building was beautiful. However, our favorite spot was the wraparound front porch with a long line of rocking chairs. The view was spectacular. Horse drawn carriages, the lapping of gentle waves from nearby water, and the calm, friendly atmosphere of small-island life.
So if you have a desire to write, don’t let experience, age, or location stop you. Just write!