The word inspiration is used millions of times since its inclusion in the English language. It has been employed as a reference point for people, things, emotion and acts, good or bad.
When I think of inspiration, my mind travels to those who have set an example by deeds of good, a lyric, or an emotion-evoking phrase in a novel or speech. Such is the reason why I embarked on a career in writing.
My early teen years sparked my interest in writing stories for others to enjoy. There my imagination could soar and explore wondrous travels and situations. I devoured books of the time by William Goldman and relished his fanciful turn of a word and poignant use of few words, which spoke volumes of a situation or a character’s inner thought. I even attempted to write a book on a rickety Smith Corona typewriter with the use of carbon paper for the copies. Alas, my father had other goals for my life that did not include being a writer. In these days, the idea of a parent choosing a child’s profession is ludicrous; but then that was the norm. Therefore, I dutifully chose my career from the list of “suitable” professions my father chose.
A few decades later, after college, marriage, and establishing a nursing career, I attended a Barry Manilow concert. Though I have followed his career and enjoyed his many concerts in the past, I never truly listened to his words of advice, “Do what you love, and the rest will follow.” That advice hit home to me one June day not so many years ago. I realized that the number of days left in my life were limited to a finite number. I no longer had the luxury of youth to delay a dream to the lingering future. I couldn’t believe there was a story of any value within me. I hadn’t done any creative writing since I was seventeen. At the age of fifty-eight, I wondered if I could even construct a proper sentence, since my nursing career involved writing in disjointed phrases on patients’ charts.
It started with the “What if?” concept in my mind. One “what if” lead to another, and another. I began my manuscript on June twenty-seventh and finished my last period on September twenty-seventh that same year. I wrote every free moment when not at the hospital working the night shift, thirty-six hours per week. Ideas and characters rained in a torrent, begging to be developed and born on paper. Excited with my finished “baby” and baptized the name “Front Row Center”, I eagerly shared my greater than 292,000 word creation with a dear friend, Mark J. Dye, who advised me to seek an editor, as he considered the story good. I expected the usual kindness from a friend, but never actual enthusiasm.
Having searched the internet for writing services, I landed an editor who felt I had a career in writing. She took me through the basics to a finished product. Carol Givner was tough, and wouldn’t write any revisions, but forced me to learn what turns a writer into an author. As much as Mr. Manilow’s words inspired me to write, Carol inspired me to write well.
On a whim, and never expecting to have a chance of winning, I entered the IPPY Awards in the romance category. You guessed it. I won! This was my first novel with no previous writing experience.
Recently, two short stories of mine, When Midnight Comes and Characters, have been included in an anthology “The Speed of Dark” by Clayton C. Bye, Chase Enterprises, Inc. Publishing. I felt extremely honored to be included among a group of very talented and seasoned authors, and accepted on the book panel.
Inspiration? It made a monumental change in my life. What was merely an item on my bucket list evolved into a rewarding career. Follow your inspiration and see where it might lead. Listen to your nagging inner voice and welcome the rewards.
©2013 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe
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