*I have a special treat for you all today! It is my honor to introduce to you Lidy Wilks who will be talking about her passion as a writer and poet, and how she came through her struggles to achieve her dreams. The cover reveal above is for her poetry chapbook, Can You Catch My Flow? Be sure to check out the special giveaways at the end of this post Lidy is promoting!
I’ve taken a few detours on this creative journey. I’ve stumbled and detoured away from it. Funny, when I think about it. As I’d always known, from the moment I read Little Women and Moby Dick, that I wanted a future involved with books. I didn’t know then what kind of job it’d be. But I never doubted for a minute, that whatever that job entailed, I would find where I belong.
Yet, I’ve had my highs and lows in trying to achieve my creative dreams. My first fan was my friend and classmate. Her excited response supported my interest to become a writer and write more stories. I held those aspirations all the way through high school; until a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. Naturally I said “I want to be an author.”
Well, imagine my utter shock when I was told that writing was just a hobby. Making money from writing wasn’t a high priority. I wanted to write and have readers enjoy my stories. To my teacher, becoming a published author was unrealistic. Writing could not feed you, clothe you or pay the bills. That was the reality of things.
Despite her quick and crushing, pessimistic assessment, I couldn’t let go of my dreams. But it still affected me so much that I changed my intended major on my college applications. I’d decided to major in Mass Communications instead of my favorite subject English. At least with a Mass Comm degree I can get a job in print media/publishing that’ll pay well. Fortunately, this little detour didn’t last long.
What happened? I was reminded of what I really wanted after my first semester. I only majored in communications because I was afraid of a future that hadn’t even happened yet. I let that fear guide me on a different path. A dream of becoming a magazine editor/writer as a way to hold onto my creative dream; but that fell apart because of an elective creative writing class, and the professor who encouraged me.
So I spent the next four years writing to my heart’s content. Studied and read British and American poetry, and Shakespeare’s plays in Old English. Taking non-fiction creative writing, and poetry workshops. All the while minoring in Mass Comm because I might as well finish what I started. Plus, it could come in handy (and it did a bit now that I’m a blogger). Point is, I was never happier. And then I graduated.
True to form and I don’t want to admit it even now, I did not find a job with my English degree. I started temping and found a job at a non-profit. I got married, had kids and before I knew it, writing-wise I had nothing to show for it. Life had taken me on another detour until a company move to a new city gave me the kick-in-the-butt I needed. Dust off the story ideas I’ve filed away throughout the years, and exercise my writing muscles. And not just write again; but, write more poetry and submit them to literary journals, magazines, etc.
Looking back, all these detours served as lessons. To never again let my doubts, lack of confidence, or the opinions of others take me away from what I love doing. And believe me, I almost completely turned my back from it especially after receiving a nasty rejection letter from a poetry editor. But as much the support I’ve received helped validate my writing dreams, I should believe in myself more especially against those whose opinions would deter me from it.
After all, I will always question myself and whether I have the talent and determination to continue on this journey. Questions like what is this poem about? Who is the poem for? How could I ever had written this? Or, being filled with writing envy and asking why didn’t I write that? But these are questions I deal with whenever I pick up a pen to write, or read a poem. And that’s not something that will ever go away. It’s one of the things that’s part of a writer’s life. And it’s a writer’s life for me.
About the Author:
Ever since she was young, Lidy Wilks was often found completely submerged in the worlds of Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. She later went on to earn a Bachelor degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Franklin Pierce University where she spent four years knee-deep in fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction workshops.
Lidy is the author of Can You Catch My Flow? a poetry chapbook, and is a member of Write by the Rails. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children; and an anime, book and manga library which she’s looking to expand, one day by adding an Asian drama DVD collection. Lidy continues her pursuit in writing more poetry collections and fantasy novels all the while eating milk chocolate and sipping a glass of Cabernet, or Riesling wine.