Born to Write
By Karen Docter

[Reprinted from CRW Romance in the Rockies newsletter, Feb/06]

I believe I was born with stories in my heart, a figurative library card in my hand, and a destiny to write.

Ever since I can remember, I've had a voracious appetite for books. I loved the worlds I found inside, the people, the fantasy and the real life drama acted out for my own personal amusement. Growing up, my mother took my sisters and I to the public library every Saturday. Every Saturday. I'd beg her to drive us there even before it opened, just so we could sit on the cold stone benches outside and be first through the door.

Eager? I lived for Saturdays. I systematically read my way through the entire children's section. Then, I hit the adult section. Quite a feat since, at the time, the library had a limit on how many books could be checked out at one time. The limit was twelve, if you can imagine. As a child, I was out of reading material by Wednesday! As an adult, I can still read two books a day...given an empty house, leftovers, and personal permission to be a major slouch.

Even when the books got longer, I chafed at my limits. That's when I began to write. I started with short stories, poured my heart into diaries, journals and poetry. Inspired by my favorite authors, I eventually dreamed about writing my own novel. Then, a series of personal events gave me time to pursue that dream.

I didn't realize at the time that I'd set myself on a career path from which I'd never deviate, whether I wrote traditional, contemporary, and now romantic suspense. I spent years sneaking writing time in at midnight when the rest of the world slept. I wrote love scenes on table napkins at work during lunch. I wrote two entire novels longhand before I discovered RWA®, a wealth of talented authors willing to share their knowledge and inspiration, and the realization that I have more stories dancing around my head clamoring for expression than I have hours in the day.

Writing can be hard work. It demands a bottomless well of creativity, confidence, and dedication to one's craft. It's a lonely profession sitting behind a computer screen day by day, week after week for months--even years--on end. It tests my imagination, my courage, over and over again. That's why typing "The End" on my first novel, submitting that work to an editor and an agent, were two of the most momentous occasions in my career. It's why I now share what I've learned with others who are just starting on their writing journeys. It's the reason I celebrate every success my published and unpublished friends make with such vigor. I know what it takes to claw our way up that personal ladder to our writing dreams.

British Historian Arnold Toynbee once said, "The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."

It's one of my favorite quotes. Why? As an author, I derive my greatest pleasure blurring that line every day. Yep, I was born to write.



Plotting…Beauty or Beast?
First Print – blog, June, 2010

Born to Write
Colorado Romance Writers Romance in the Rockies newsletter - February, 2006

The Big Kids Clubhouse Secret Handshake…Finally!
Colorado Romance Writers Romance in the Rockies newsletter - August, 2006

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