|Bridget Straub with a cup of coffee.|
Who'd Have Thought?
A few years ago, greed and deception conspired with a crooked judge to steal our home of fourteen years right out from under us. Were we completely innocent? No, we were a day late with our rent, and had made arrangements to get the payment paid with someone whose despicable deceit we had underestimated.
The truth is, we should have known better, but we chose to believe what everyone told us, which was that no judge would ever side with our landlord. "Big mistake, huge!" as Julia Robert's character in Pretty Woman would say.
We were stunned and devastated. Depression and I are not strangers, but I was down as far as I had ever been, with thoughts of self-worthlessness that rivaled any I had ever dealt with before. Had you told me then, that over the next two years I would write not one, or two, but four novels and a musical, I'd have thought you were insane.
I mean, please, a musical? Seriously? Not a chance. And lest you should think these are all stories of despair, you would be mistaken. Three out of the five have no despair at all. Wait, make that two out of five, but the other three are not horribly sad, and in fact, include a lot of life's lighter moments.
In my first published novel, Searching for My Wand, the main character relates the ups and downs of her life with a wry sense of humor. Named (incorrectly) after Glinda the Good Witch, Glenda is struggling to come to grips with some of the more questionable decisions she has made. As she details the events that have led up to these decisions, readers are drawn into how easy it would be to fall into a cycle of misjudgments.
|Bridget overcame depression to write her|
novel, Searching For My Wand.
Sometimes the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and sometimes even then, the dawn comes up slowly, and you have to wait for the clouds to burn off before you are fully immersed in the light. It has been a slow and painful journey getting through this night, but I have learned lessons along the way, among them the power of perseverance. I never gave up on my dream to be a "real" writer, and with the release of my first novel, I am beginning to see the sun.
Before all of this, I never would have dreamed that losing so much would result in my accomplishing all that I have. If my back had not been so firmly against the wall, I might not have pursued my goals with the relentless determination necessary to get my stories out into the world. Publishing, whether traditionally or independently, is a tremendous amount of work. The myth used to be that all writers had to do was write, and then they'd be paid a big fat advance to live off while writing the next book. If only that were the case.
Today, writers are publishers, marketing experts and accountants. Gone are the days (if indeed they ever really existed) of lying on the couch, eating bon bons, counting your money, and dreaming up your next plot. In its place, however, is a tremendous feeling of pride.
Searching For My Wand is now available through Amazon, B&N, iBook, Sony, Kobo and Copia! According to Bookbaby, my distributor, Kobo alone sends my e-Book to over 200 countries and Copia to over 900 college bookstores. That is more than I could have ever imagined.
If you think you have a great blog post idea, click here to learn how to get the conversation started. I'm sure if you think it's important, I may too.
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.
Check out previous Not Bob posts for writers: