Valerie J. Steimle
Snow days in South Alabama? What has the world come to? The last time we had a snow day in Southern Alabama was in 1996. This past week the whole south was shut down as it was inundated with the winter storm called Leon and it was quite icy and cold.
This being the case, after playing a bit outside with my two teen sons, I had the opportunity to do some extra writing. No school, no going to work (for now) so I took the opportunity of getting some prime time writing done.
Here is what I came up with……
Writing Against All Odds
By Valerie Steimle
As the mother of nine children, people are amazed when I tell them I have published five books. Back in the old days, when typewriters were being phased out and desk top computers were becoming more popular, I took a pencil and paper and wrote all of my ideas for articles on paper and started organizing manuscripts for books. I wrote at night when all my children were in bed and the house was quiet. This was not only a creative outlet; the time spent also provided emotional support for me as a mother.
Fast forward twelve years and after revisions and more revisions, typing everything on a desk top, I finally had a finished manuscript to submit to publishers which I did. Not getting the response I had liked, (10 rejection notices) I decided I would self-publish this manuscript and did most of the editing myself. I scraped the money together for self-publication and my first book was born. I thought I had done so well and I was on my way to fame and fortune until I realized a year later that marketing my book was much harder than writing it. Yes, I had a few local morning show interviews and I did local book signings but this did not bring the income I had hoped for.
Putting promotions aside, I continued writing and knew my second book’s topic: Homeschool. By that time in my life, I had slept, ate, walked, drove and thought homeschool as we did homeschool all of our children and I had accumulated a lot of information. It didn’t take long to collect my writings about homeschooling and I asked several of my homeschool friends to contribute a chapter to this book as well. Again, time passed quickly and before I knew it, three years had passed by and my husband passed away suddenly.
That put a stop to everything I was doing for at least three months and I had to rethink my whole life goals. I knew I wanted to continue my goal of becoming a best selling author. I knew I had to push forward and publish my homeschool book; which I finally did in 2006 (6 months after he passed). This had been my most successful book to date and I was very happy to hear how I have helped countless families take on a lifestyle which has helped many children in education and life experiences.
That was then and this is now. My present day life consists of only two children at home and I even remarried. My writing time has increased but so has my financial difficulties. With the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, our employment has been cut in half. I am fighting to keep my home of 19 years and I have to deal with menopause, low book sales, broken cars (including one that was consumed by fire with a box of my books inside, ugh!) and a number of other trials too long to explain. So I continue to write against all odds. There is always something that will get in the way of writing. If we don’t decide now, we will never accomplish it.
I try to remember what truly matters in life. When all is said and done in the end, every temporal or earthly possession does not matter. Whatever fame or fortune gained will not count for anything. Whatever frustration, resentments or grudges held towards others will mean nothing in the long run. Whatever score kept of wins and loses won’t be seen on your heavenly scorecard. What matters most is what we share with others and how we have helped make someone’s load lighter. Whatever inspiring, uplifting writings we can promote in story or post will matter the most in life. So I continue and always will write against all odds.
Next time we have a snow day...I'll be encouraged to do a whole lot more writing. In the mean time, pass me another snow ball and let's have at it!