- Sue Hawley
Writing is my Drug of Choice
Unlike my favorite authors such as Agatha Christie, Terry Prachett, Jim Butcher and scores of others, writing snuck up on me later in life rather than a life long passion. Thirty-plus years of raising kids, cleaning, cooking, laundry and general life filled my days which turned into weeks, then months, followed by decades. The years flew by and before I knew it, kids were grown, keeping the house neat was easier with no mud, snow, toys or the natural mess that comes with a big family. Cooking was massively downscaled, along with laundry going from at least one load a day to two each week.
I was seriously contemplating returning to corporate life even though much had changed through the years---computers were unique when I left the work force to herd kids so many years ago. Surprisingly, our oldest daughter suggested I should give writing a book some serious thought and I hate to admit it but I laughed out loud. Write a book? About what? Had she lost her mind? I hadn’t written one word since college that wasn’t kid oriented in over thirty years. She pushed a bit more and shrugging, I thought why not?
The first book I wrote will probably never see the light of day. The story was fine but oh! so many characters and plot lines. It was fun, humorous, and I had a blast. But while writing that monstrosity, a tiny thought entered my brain. A women going through menopause suddenly begins to see ghosts. Talking it over with my sister, who reads all I write before anyone else, I swore I would never write a mystery. Growing up reading the Queens of Mystery- Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, etc, I knew I didn’t have the patience to measure up to my mystery book expectations. I began the Peg Shaw series determined it would never be a mystery. Before I hit chapter three, I had a mystery on my hands. I fell in love with my characters and focused more on Peg’s relationships and the folks from Deadsville- with a bit of mystery tossed in to make it interesting.
At this point in time, I have four books published, writing a fifth for the Peg Shaw series, and another series in the works. Oh, and did I mention the first book, Hot Flashes/Cold Cases won first place in a writers contest?
So what are my thoughts concerning writing at this point? Writing is exhilarating, irritating, fun, frustrating, discouraging, addictive, stimulating, but most of all, exciting. The frustration and irritation usually stem from writing myself into a corner and having to find a way out of that corner, along with simply hitting a brick wall—the brain refuses to function. The fun and exhilaration appear when I’ve finally written myself out of the corner. What a sense of accomplishment! The creative juices start flowing again and it’s off to the races.
I’ve consider quitting more than once but something within me continues to nudge me forward, not allowing me to walk away from the process. I can’t predicat the future, but I have a sneaky sense that I’ll continue writing simply because it has become my drug of choice—so beware if you consider becoming a writer! Writing is addictive!