I’m here now

A little over two years ago, I sat down to write a novel and told myself it was just for the fun of it.  Deep down I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t have the courage to admit it to myself or anyone else.  So I decided I was just going to write a novel on a whim.  That’s how I spun it, in order to make it okay.  I thought it would be an interesting project and maybe not even that hard, since I had always been a voracious reader and I wrote essays and stories all through college.  Easy breezy piece of cake, right?  Ha.  After I finished my first draft, I read it over and realized that it wasn’t fit to line the bottom of a birdcage.  It bothered me so much that I decided to keep going.

I began taking classes.  Lots and lots of classes.  I joined the Pacific  Northwest Writers Association and went to my first conference, where I mostly hid in my room because I felt like such a fraud.  On the final day, I got up the nerve to pitch to a very nice agent, who asked for a partial of my manuscript.  That was the first moment I realized that there might be hope.  Real hope–the kind that makes you suddenly stop thinking in self-depreciating ways and start thinking in self-propelling ways, instead.  I flew home on a pink puffy cloud of happiness, and then read my manuscript again.  It still wasn’t ready.  I needed to work harder.  I began re-writing and re-re-writing.  I joined critique groups and met amazing, wonderful writers who kept me going even when I felt like giving up.  I joined the University of Washington‘s Popular Fiction Writing Program, taught by Pam Binder–the best writing teacher I’ve ever had.

Somewhere around the zillionth edit, I entered my manuscript in the 2011 PNWA Literary Contest and became a finalist.   Now I’m working on my second novel, and I’m still unpublished, but I have hope that someday I will find the right place for my stories.  I am going to make the committment to be honest about the process, and honest about what I really want.  It’s a lot of work, but I’m not afraid anymore.  I’m going to figure this writing thing out, because I love it and it’s what I want to do.  So this is me, sitting beside a pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom, in a suburb outside of Seattle, Washington, saying to anyone who’s listening, “Hi.  My name is Tara Sheets.  I’m here now. And I’m going to be a writer.”

About Tara Sheets

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4 Responses to I’m here now

  1. J.D. Sullivan says:

    Hello Tara Sheets, I’m glad you’re here! Since you’ve already written one book, doesn’t that mean you already ARE a writer? 🙂

  2. Hi Tara,
    I met you at ECWC last year. I want you to know that your drive and desire stuck with me. You are a brilliant woman and I am proud to have had the chance to have met you. I am sure, after having seen your drive and passion, that you will soon be published. Don’t give up on your dream!

  3. Ravak says:

    You ARE a writer and a brilliant woman.
    There is zero doubt that when you are published and everyone has a chance to read your books, your talent will be greatly appreciate it.

  4. Trisha Montero says:

    Since the first whimsical words out of your mouth…and the first e-mail I received from you, Little Miss Tara….I knew you were a born writer! Congrats to you! Now your words of wisdom and romantic thoughts are due their dance. Smiles! T~

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