It was a late hot Texas July night. I remember distinctly the first thought of becoming a writer. It was around 1:00pm one Saturday night. I had watched the late show, and had read several golf magazines. Then, still being restless and unable to sleep, I picked up a Ladies Home Journal. After flipping through about a third of the magazine, I by chance came across an advertisement on learning to become a writer. Thoughts of fame and fortune immediately rushed through my mind. After meditating and dwelling on the idea of being a famous writer, movie deals, and speaking engagements, I came to my senses, and began to write. I wrote, and wrote. And, when I realized exactly the time, it was daybreak. I counted the many pages that covered my bed, about twenty-four in all. I couldn't believe how long I had been writing as I gently gathered the pages, and placed them all under my bed for safe keeping.
To my knowledge that's where my first manuscript is still located, under my old bed. The passion for writing had quickly faded away, just as quick as it came. Thoughts of not being able to write and the hard work it took flooded my mind, and I talked myself out of ever trying to write. Well, about two years past, without me picking up a pen to write. However, after getting married, my wife Tonnette encouraged me to pursue my writing once again. So after still hesitant, I took several writing courses. I read magazines and books on writing for children. And, I join the Society for Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). And, after about six months of writing, I sold my first children's story. It was a new and exciting feeling getting the response back from the editor of Highlights for Children. Not only that, but the check for my story, was the icing on the cake. After the news got out about my first story being published, people from all over the community called the house. A teacher called one evening and invited me to speak to her class, which I happily accepted. There is a wonderful feeling when speaking to children of all ages. Their love and support is so genuine, something a beginning writer needs all of the time. Several days after speaking at the school, a young lady, whom I didn't know called.
"How did you get into writing?" she politely asked. "And, what should I do?"
After thinking for a minute, I knew that she wanted me to give her some magical answer. However, I simply responded, "Find an area of writing that you truly love, and never stop writing."
That was about six years ago, and I'm still writing today. After a fatal car accident, in which I broke the hand I write with in about seven places, I never stopped writing. After the birth of my two wonderful daughters, Jessica and Somer, I never stopped writing. After going back to school to get my Masters degree, I never stopped writing. After sickness and the death of my father, I never stopped writing. My advice to any new writer is simple, "Believe in your God given abilities and never, never, stop writing."
Geary Smith is married to Tonnette and has two daughters, Jessica and Somer. He has an M.Ed. from SFAU. In his free time, when he's not writing or reading, he loves to play golf or jog.
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