For those of you who are new to my site, I am Juli Hoffman, wife, mother, and collector of strange trinkets. I dabble in photography, herd cats, and eat the finest macaroni and cheese dinner off of Great-Grandma’s china. When I’m not ranting, I’m usually found building furniture displays at my day-job. I worked as a Furniture Sales Manager for 15 years. I’ve worked in various management positions for nearly 20 years.
Oh yeah…and I think I’m a writer!
I started blogging a year or two after I started writing, back when I was still painfully naive about the writing world. I didn’t plan I being a writer. I wrote a book when I was 10 years-old, won an award, and never thought about writing anything longer than my signature for 20+ more years. I blame my indifference on the writing classes taught in junior high and high school. There’s nothing like a graded high school essay to strangle creativity!
While my teachers may have taught me to loath writing, and to some degree creativity, I never lost my love of the written word. I snacked on books like a dieter snacks on pudding cake. Alone and in secret. Novels were my guilty pleasure. I’d hide paperbacks behind textbooks and read in class. I’d read on the bus, in the bathroom, or under the covers at night. I couldn’t get enough books! I devoured works of fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. They were my air, my escape. When life seemed too dreary, I’d grab a book and find another world to climb into, a world far away from this one.
And then…everything changed. Writing snuck up on me in my middle-years like a head cold or the flu. I tried to fight it off, really I did. My friend, Karole, wanted someone to proofread her poems and stories. Naturally, the woman who spent all of her work-breaks and lunches with her nose buried in a novel seemed like a logical choice. Alas, since I’d spent so much energy and time running away from writing, I had to be taught. Proofreading and beta-reaing do NOT come naturally.
Eventually, I learned to appreciate writing on a different level, to enjoy the books I’ve read not just for the stories they contained, but also for the authors themselves. The turn of a phrase sends me scrambling for my highlighter, and I think, “Wow! I like that imagery.”
My new appreciation of words and phrases started me on my own writing adventure. I’d just finished reading a recommended book, a rather well-known book I might add. But instead of taking it for what it is, a mediocre story written for teens, the novel sent me into a rant. I complained about this story for days, until both my husband and Karole said, “If you don’t like the book, write your own.”
And so I did.
Or so I tried.
It turns out, writing is a LOT harder than I thought it would be. And writing well is like trying to make a pot of soup, one drop at a time. It’s not impossible, but it takes time, and energy, and patience. I have…none of these things. In fact, when I started, I could only type with two fingers. Yeah…that’s how green I was. And ignorant. And did I mention naive? I think that one’s a given.
So here I am, still in my middle years. Six, seven, eight years later? I’ve lost track of the time, but did learn a few things about wordsmithing. I can type with ALL of my fingers and NOT look at the keyboard. Woo hoo! I still devour books like they’re candy. And I’m still plugging away at my novel(s). I’ve taken time away from writing, but like bell-bottoms in fashion, I keep coming back. I started this blog as a way to promote ALLLLLL of the books I thought I would write.
(Published authors everywhere are snorting coffee out their noses and wiping off snot of their laptops as I write this. They don’t even need to read this post. That’s the impact my naivety has in the universe. It’s THAT powerful!!!)
I’m back to blogging again and I’m working on my novel daily, steps in the right direction for sure. But this blog…has morphed into the writer’s equivalent of sticking a hat on a porcupine and asking it to play the tambourine. It’s possibly funny…at times, but I’m not really sure if it serves a purpose. I probably need to make some updates or something. Buy a map. Get a direction. Something. Until then, this is my first assignment for Blogging 101.
*I signed up for BOTH Blogging 101 and Writing 101. It makes that porcupine seem sane by comparison.