With the new year upon us, I felt the need to reflect on the changes in my life over the past year. Some of you, who have read my previous posts, know that I have had to deal with bi-polar depression most of my life. The early years were tolerable because out of the many kids I grew up with, there were always a few who would be my friend no matter how I acted. That continued on through my years in the Navy and afterwards during the years I worked in a large shipyard. Being surrounded by so many people, there were always a few who wanted to be my friend. However, after I retired, all that changed. When I left the shipyard and went into business for myself, the only people I came into contact with were customers or employees. Friends drifted away as I became more involved with my business. Eventually, the economy forced me to shut down, my wife was no longer able to work and we had to sell everything and move into a small trailer in a mobile home park. Throughout my life, reading had always been my only escape. I spent the next several years reading books from the library but mostly re-reading books I had from my favorite authors. You know how sometimes when you finish a book, you wish the story wouldn't end? Well I decided to write my own stories based in those worlds, that I later found out were called fan fiction. A little over a year ago, my daughter asked to read some of what I had written and convinced me I needed to take it more seriously. I bought a few writers magazines and saw that you could actually enter contests. I wrote a short story that was all mine, entered several contests and had some minor success. I then attended a writers meeting at the local library put on by an independent e-book publisher who was looking for more writers. After several meetings, I felt comfortable enough to ask her to read one of my short stories. She came back with a contract offer to publish my first book but told me I needed to develop an on-line presence. Not wanting to appear stupid, I waited until I got home and then asked my grand-daughter what an online presence was since I knew she spent a lot of time on the computer. She told me about blogs and that there were communities I could join on Google+. So I joined and set up a blog, which I am still trying to learn how to use.
Once again, thanks to the internet and joining several local writers groups, I am developing some friendships again. Now when depression rears it's ugly head and tries to tell me this is all a waste of time, I can look at the wonderful words of encouragement that my followers have written and it gives me the strength to continue writing. Hopefully in the coming year I will be able to post more meaningful content on my blog and get my first book published. For those of you who have helped me improve my writing, thank you. For those of you who decided to follow me because you love my stories, God bless you.
Happy New Year everyone!