Is This Really Happening?!

It is still hard for me to believe it has been four years since I boarded a plane at LaGuardia and travel to Whitefish, Montana alone. Not knowing a soul, relying on a stranger to meet me at a hotel, and drive into the mountains to a writing retreat.

Haven writing retreat, what was I doing there? Could I truly make a dream, a wish, a fantasy of becoming a writer a reality? That was a life-changing journey, in more ways than building confidence as a writer. It opened up possibilities at a time when everything was shut, locked and chained. But it also showed me the path was not going to be easy, and if I was going to do this, I had to do the work. And there lies the answers.

If you cannot help but put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard – you are a writer. If you journal, scribble, enjoy the feel of creating sentences that extend to paragraphs and ultimately fill up a page or two or three hundred – you are a writer. If you sculpt stories, laugh as you write memories, or dampen the parchment with tears – yet you keep at it, keep pouring words in script, print or New Times Roman – you are a writer. You may not be a published author – but you are a writer.

Embrace that fact – because some days that may be all you can hold on to, as you work to become the best writer you can be – and then, the learning begins.

You see I am still climbing, learning, falling, correcting, and reaching the next plateau. Right along side a million others who are also climbing, struggling, collapsing with exhaustion only to get up and start ascending again, and again. The art of writing is a solitary journey in and of itself, but you are definitely not alone.

If it’s worth having, it’s worth working for – and learning to write well is work. But let me say this – if you are happy when you write, if you get a chill when you see what you’ve created, if others enjoy reading your work, or if you keep every word private – that’s just fine. Do not feel you must follow everyone else to be fulfilled. You are enough. In this four-year personal decision, I’ve learned a lot, from a lot of people, and the most important thing is there is a lot more left to learn. Practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice does. As anyone who is trying to learn the proper form to shoot a free throw.

If you’ve walked with me on any part of this journey of mine to become a writer – you know I was accepted by Writers Relief. After all the work I have done, the reading the practice and drafts of query letters, synopsis and bio’s – seeing a professional carve the details – understand the process to publication and know after all is said and done, there are still no guarantees, but you keep at it, because you can’t stop – that is where I am. I can’t stop. I’ve come too far to let it float away into what could have been. I’ve watched this story grow and unfold, and I know there is something special there. I have had Beta-readers of all different ages, nationalities, and cultures read my novel, Northeast of 80 from cover to cover. Two readers immediately asked me for the next book! You can’t get a better compliment than that. I know it’s a small slice of humanity, but I could not have come this far without their support and encouragement. They all want to see these separate pages bound into a book, something to hold and dive into and share and put on a shelf with pride because they know they each had a part in making this come true.

This September Writers Relief is working hard, they are an extraordinary group of amazing people who are there whenever I have a problem or question. They are supportive, honest and make me feel I am in exactly the place I am supposed to be. Soon the query letters will be sent – and the hardest part of the process begins. Waiting. Yet I know this is all part of the journey too. Anyone who has gone hiking or simply went for a walk know, the best part is stopping to sit and enjoy the view.

I can’t wait to see it!

I can’t wait for YOU to read it!!

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About Patty Young

Patricia Young spent most of her life in the Northeast. Before the casinos arrived and many of the safety rails installed, she would walk Bushkill Falls and enjoy time in a little cabin by Meadow Lake near the Delaware Water Gap. The school year was spent in New Jersey, but many summers were spent in Mississippi where she wandered in the woods, ride horses, reading comic books and played with cousins. After graduating from college with a degree in education, she taught fifth grade in Queens. When rent climbed higher than her salary she working for a defense industry in Yonkers before starting a small business called, The Giving Tree Day Care. For fifteen years she was fondly "held hostage by two year olds!" Writing every day for in a notebook for each child to keep communication open and flowing to the families. Fast forward to the spring of 2013 diagnosed with sever carpal tunnel syndrome (she does NOT recommend having both hands done at the same time! Often wondering "What was I thinking?!") Physical therapy and time slowly began the healing process and gardening strengthened her hands. After an unexpected, but deeply personal journey to Montana in the fall of 2013 she decided it was time to reinvent herself and embrace her passion for words. With renewed confidence, and a plan to do the work necessary to become a writer, she began writing every day (with the help of 750Words.com - thank you Kellianne and Buster!), submitting to a variety of magazines and contests to practice the craft. As well as participating in the Learning to See poetry programs offered at the local library. Attending writing retreats, workshops, lectures, taking classes, reading and immersing herself in the process. She began to work with writers and authors in the tri-state area. Presently living in Westchester New York Patricia lives with her husband of 29 years, two daughters – both attending college and grad school and a dear college friend – all under the roof of a little cape cod. Its snug – but the laughter and support is rich and full! Patricia is working on her first novel with her editor, with hopes and dreams and fingers crossed to find an agent in the fall of 2015. You are invited to join her on this journey of a writer. To experience her trials, successes and stumbles along the way. Perhaps it will help you find your brave, and if writing is in your soul - to join her. Share your stories and maybe together we will unravel some of the complexities of this life. To heal, hope and learn what we can from one another, in the time we have. To listen and hear one another's stories. Breathe Deep, Think Peace Patty
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2 Responses to Is This Really Happening?!

  1. bodyworkspt says:

    I loved this. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. And…oh boy, that Haven writing retreat. This post comes three days before I head back to Montana for Haven II – for a few of us brave souls getting ready to share our book babies with the world. I’m so excited. I know there’s magic to be had in the caring hands of Laura Munson and the other amazing authors who’ll arrive there with me – all dreaming of when people will hold our creations in their hands. I’m so proud and thrilled to call myself a writer!

    • Patty Young says:

      Thank you very, very much, Laura! Oh, I have no doubt you are going to have an amazing time! I wish I could join you, the company will be outstanding – the area breathtaking – if Laura cooks? Well – Wow what a treat! LOTS to be learned and explored and crafted. I can’t wait to hear all about it! Safe journey Writer!!

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