Monday, May 26, 2008

How I Got Here

By Marcia Mickelson

When I was sixteen, I earned money for a brand new Mac Plus computer. At the time, that was a huge thing. I loved that computer--it was the joy of my life. That was when it all started. I began writing a novel. I actually thought I had invented LDS literature. I had never heard of Jack Weyland or Dean Hughes. I had only been a member of the LDS Church for two years and still knew very little. I really did not think that books about Mormon characters existed.

I threw myself into writing and could really imagine being published some day. Then, I went to college and had no time for writing. My Mac Plus was used for research papers and my novel was put to the side. Then came marriage, career, and children. There was no time at all for writing, and I rarely thought about that half-done novel from so many years before. I'd since discovered that there was already such a thing as LDS lit, but I didn't read any.

Then, in the summer of 2003, we were in Utah for a summer vacation. We only had a few minutes at the BYU bookstore before we had to hit the road, and I wanted something to read. I quickly scanned the shelves and grabbed a Jack Weyland book. That's what started it all. I was eager to read more and more and more. Later that summer, I was at a friend's house, and she offered to lend me two LDS novels. One of them was by Betsy Brannon Green. That book hooked me. All I wanted was LDS novels. I couldn't get enough.

I searched the LDS publisher websites, spent hours on Amazon and e-bay to get more books. Many late nights ensued as I devoured book after book. Unfortunately, I didn't know about Interlibrary Loan back then, so I bought most of the books on Amazon or e-bay and then sold them back so I could buy more.

Then, I just knew it. I knew I had to pull my old novel out and finish the thing. After more than 10 years of computer technology, my Mac Plus was so outdated, so after many days spent at Kinkos on their computers and after much frustration, I was able to transfer it to a Word document. I spent the next few months finishing it. It was quite awful, actually, but completing it made me realize that I could do it. I could write a novel. I spent months researching the business and read books about how to correctly write a novel. And, that is how I got here.


Shirley Bahlmann said...

I love your story, Marcia! The energy inside writers is quite real, and I applaud you for finishing that book. I tell my writing class, "Write to the end of the book, then you have something to work with." No matter how long it took, I'm glad you got to the end of your book.

Abel Keogh said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I think the biggest thing most writers need is the abiltiy to write the books that are inside them. I'm glad you're doing that!