Then, years later, I began to put thoughts, feelings, and ideas on paper to deal with new and challenging circumstances in my life. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And eight years later, I'm still writing. At last count, I have 15 books somewhere in the writing process - from first chapter written to completely outlined with nothing written to completed and in print. Yesterday, two more books began spinning in my head.
I'm not sure how to explain how the process works, other than the ultimate Creator has implanted in my mind the ability to come up with a lot of ideas. That part of the process is the easiest for me - the ideas. The work comes in developing a concept, turning it into words on a page, and then transforming those words into something that will engage, entertain, and encourage others. The last two bits of the process are the ones that require the most effort for me and take the most time. Sometimes, they simply wear my poor brain out. But once it's had some rest, like a once overheated engine that's cooled off, it cranks right back up and is ready to roar again. And I love it! I'm glad it never stops. I'm also grateful that it takes a break once in a while.
Because the ideas flow so freely, and my writing began as a coping mechanism, I never expected the work involved in producing a book. In the beginning, when I was fresh as morning dew and knew nothing about getting published, a fellow writer I sought advice from told me the average time from first word to first published book was 5 - 10 years. I shrugged the long-term idea off. Ha! Just to prove what I didn't know, here I am 8 years later, finally where I wanted to be so long ago.
The process has been anything but consistent - as I said, sometimes writing and ideas flood my mind and the page, at others they dry up like air in the desert. However, I have been persistent in the process. Second to the desire and gift to write, persistence is an essential element. If you know you've been called to write, keeping at it is a must. After weeks, months, and years of work. After rejections. After hard critiques. When you keep at it, you will eventually get there.