It took me three years to write "Sacred Fire." Yeah, that's a little excessive. I used to write all the time, but then I grew up, went to college, got married, and I got distracted. After a while, I felt like I didn't have it in me anymore. I was just as good of a writer, but I had to wait for The Muse to grace me with her presence, and she didn't come very often. I didn't like where I was headed and I got pretty depressed.
I recently got my license to be a teacher. It was a back-up plan, since I hadn't published a best-seller like I planned to when I was a freshman in college. (I also planned on being an editor if I was unpublished, but after a few jobs decided I despised it.) I thought I was guaranteed a teaching job because the No Child Left Behind program fired mass amounts of people. Pretty much the moment I got my license, Mississippi had horrendous budget cuts and they didn't rehire any of the fired teachers. I only found two openings, and I didn't get an interview from either of them.
Now I'm stuck at a boring temp job where I make even less than a teacher and there's hardly anything to do. I had told everyone I was going to be a teacher, and then I had to explain to them that I didn't get a job. Embarassing.
I was complaining about my lousy life to my husband a few months back, and he pointed out that I should write at work. "Of course I should," I told him, "but I can't write when I'm bored. My job is a sucker of creativity." He shrugged and said, "That's too bad. You could get paid to write."
This got me fantasizing. Paid to write... that's the dream.
I decided it was a dream worth fighting for, so even though I didn't feel capable of writing at work, I gave it a shot. The writing sucked at first, but then it got better. After years of sporadic writer's block, I got into the habit of writing. That's how I finished my book.
I've discovered that a Muse can be at your beck and call if you invite her in often enough.
Life can suck, but I think sometimes life sucks for a reason. Maybe my lame temp job was destiny. They say you should do what the universe tells you to do, and my luck forced me to sit in front of a computer eight hours a day, whether I wanted to or not. It was like the universe told me, "Stop being a baby and write."