Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

No, this is not yet another post about NaNoWriMo


Catchy title, eh? I’ve been catching up on reading the blogs I follow, and there seems to be a lot more about NaNo this year in particular than I remember in years past. Maybe it’s because more writers have decided to throw their towel–er, hat in the ring of madness that is NaNo. This post, in particular, summarizes NaNo quite well.

I did my NaNo this year in February, so even though I’ll be posting my numbers from Feb each day, I’ll be working on revisions of that novel.

Okay, so I kinda bent the truth a little in my title. But really, the post isn’t entirely about NaNoWriMo.

Remember those days back in college? You know the ones, especially those first days of your freshman year, when you were still working through the reality of living on your own, with new classes in different buildings, new people to meet, and the responsibility of going to classes, doing homework, finding a job, and all the other new experiences (dorm roommate, anyone?) that go with it. There’s an atmosphere on college campuses, I think, that can bring us back to that time in our lives.

This past week was MEA (MN Educators Association) week, so the kids had Thursday and Friday off from school. This is a perfect time for colleges to hold open houses for high school seniors. My son is a senior this year, and on Friday headed off to one college open house with my hubby and his aunt (hubby’s sister), since I was working. On Saturday, we headed to another open house at the college I attended twenty-five (OMG! Holy crap I’m getting old!) years ago.

Boy, talk about a time warp. Some parts of the campus looked just like I remember, but there’s been so much new stuff (skyways? We never had skyways when I went there) added, I hardly recognized it. But just being there reminded me of those days I walked the campus. And that, in turn, made me wonder where all the friends I’d made back then ended up. One friend shared my love for Airwolf, and shared a treasure trove of fanfic with me (there was no Wattpad or FanFiction.net back then). Another invited me on a trip to the Oshkosh EAA air show (that’s a post all by itself) with 6 other members of the flying club.

The trip also made me realize how much I’ve changed since then. After my initial attempt to accept that yes, I’m older and now my son is getting ready to head to college, I realize how my life journey has circled around to (sort of) where I was back then. I wrote my first book during my grade school years, my second book through high school, and a fun play starring me and my closest friends (which we won’t ever mention again 😉 ), then took a sojourn from writing while I was in thrall with aviation. I started writing again when I took an English class in MI, and progressed to the point of getting a couple short stories published before my son was born. I didn’t get back to writing until later.

I started writing fantasy and science fiction, and I’m writing mystery now. What a tour! Has your life journey taken you away from writing? When did you return to it? Did you learn of your writing passion later in life? I sometimes wonder if I should’ve gone into an English major, but at the time, I wanted to be involved with aviation, then computers (well, always computers). Now, I write for a living (I’m a tech writer, so I do get a regular paycheck 😉 ) and I’m trying to join the ranks of published authors everywhere.

I wonder if this is where I was headed the entire time. I like to think I just took the scenic route. Lots of great experiences along the way, and I think I’m close to that place in my life I’ve wanted, but I just didn’t know it.

How about you? Are you close to that place in life you’ve learned you want or need to be?

Happy writing!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

6 thoughts on “No, this is not yet another post about NaNoWriMo

  1. I didn’t start writing seriously until I was 50, Julie. And that was after a 30-year break to work and raise kids. I was a tech writer of sorts during that time (procedures manuals – mesmerizing, to say the least. 🙂 I don’t think I can say that I was always headed to the laptop. I started writing at my husband’s urging. He said, “If Sarah Palin can write a book, anyone can.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This isn’t a comment about NaNoWriMo. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do NaNo this year. I did it once before, 3 years ago. I don’t write very much, other than blogs and articles, but there’s a story I need to tell, and without the challenge of NaNo, I might not get on with it (I’m not very self-disciplined). Wait…this WAS a comment about NaNoWriMo after all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Sounds like me–I use NaNo to make progress on new projects. I wanted to get my current WIP written (first draft) but I couldn’t wait until Nov, so I did it in Feb. Only after I made the mental commitment did I realize that Feb has only 28 days! I did get to 50k, though, and now I’ll use this Nov to make myself sit down and revise it. I’ll post my Feb numbers, but I’m learning that committing to a writing frenzy is sometimes the only way I can “git ‘er done”.


  3. I’m one of those writers who never took a break from it. I started in grade school and kept it up throughout my life, although I didn’t get serious about publishing until a few years ago when I submitted my first novel. I’ve got tons of short stories and novels I wrote through the years languishing in a closet. My day job involves blogging, writing, and graphic design, so I get to be creative on a daily basis which I love (I work in the real estate industry). I never saw myself ending up in real estate when I was younger, but always wanted to be a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky you 🙂 I like to think I never really left writing, but I did set it aside for many years. With age come the knowledge that writing is more a part of me than I thought. Technical writing is a different kind of writing, not as creative as fiction (or even marketing stuff), but I’m writing. Didn’t always want to be a writer; forest ranger, marine biologist, or zookeeper, sure, but not writer. Now that I am one, I feel more content 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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