Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday Writers: The Kickoff! (DelSheree Gladden)

Welcome to the Wednesday Writers Series! 

I'm very excited to kick off this new adventure, but before I get to my main post, I wanted to explain a little about the series. 

The fabulous Gina Larson also made this logo for the series!

My lovely friend and aspiring writer, Gina Larson, sent me a link to an author's profile that read more like a character out of an erotic novel than a profile. It got me to thinking. How often to readers actually get to know something real about authors they enjoy? This series will stray from the pat author bios "So and so was born in ..." and stay away from unrealistic portrayals. We want to know the person behind the words, why they write, what they care about, and who they really are. So I'm here to kick off the series. I hope you all enjoy getting to know more about some amazing established and up-and-coming authors!


One question that authors get asked more than almost any other is, "Why do you write?" Let's face it, writing isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work. There is tons of rejection. Literally, tons. It can take years and years to ever get noticed or feel like you've accomplished something. There are easier hobbies to indulge. So why do it? Ask most any writer, and I guarantee there's an answer deeper than what you were expecting. 

So what is my reason? 

At first, it may sound like what a lot of writers might say. I was a ridiculously shy kid. Answering questions in elementary school gave my anxiety attacks. I didn't speak unless I absolutely had to. As I got older I grew out of some of my shyness, but certainly not all of it. I loved reading and could spend hours upon hours getting lost in someone else's world. Like I said, this may sound like what dozens of other writers might say. My shyness and love of reading are part of why I starting writing, but not all of it. The reason behind my bottomed out self-confidence was the biggest reason. 

My dad and I have always been close, but I knew from a young age that it was different with my mom. I honestly can't tell you why she despised me so much, but I knew without a doubt that she didn't like me. It showed in the way she treated me on a daily basis. She told me constantly that I was jealous of my siblings and that was why any fight that broke out between me and my little brother or sister was my fault. If I wanted to participate in an activity outside the home that required her to drive me somewhere, she made sure I knew what an inconvenience it was. There were times when I would ask for something for a birthday or Christmas and she would get it for my sister instead. I rarely received anything from her without there being a hidden cost. Everything took a back seat to what she wanted. 

My mother was like this to all my siblings on some level, but I certainly seemed to take the brunt of it. She was unstable and manipulative, and caused a lot of hurt to our family before eventually leaving. My mother and I no longer speak, because she was not a good influence on me or my children. I don't want to harp on my mom, because I hope one day she realizes her mistakes and lives a better life. I am sharing this with you because I know many kids grow up with emotionally abusive people in their lives, and I understand how damaging that can be. It changes your perception of yourself. It changes what you think you are capable of. It can determine how your life turns out if you let it. 

I was lucky to have had a few wonderful friends like Amy Brimhall and Melissa Caston who were always supportive and reminded me of my worth. They kept me from giving in to the belief that I was undeserving of others attention. They were the ones to help me realize that my potential had nothing to do with what my mom thought of me. 

So, aside from loving the written word and feeling more comfortable expressing my thoughts on paper than in any other form, I write because I want to share something with my readers. It doesn't matter what situation you were born into, stumble into, or are forced into. No one else is allowed to determine your self-worth or your potential. There are times when you may not be able to get away from the kind of people who want to tear you down, but there are always others who will do everything they can to build you up. Seek them out. Sometimes you have to be that person for yourself, and then when you're able, be that person for someone else. 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by the kick off of Wednesday Writers. I hope you to come back every Wednesday to meet a new author and get a glimpse of the person behind the words. 

And because writers are shameless self-promoters, here's where you can find my books. If you want to connect on social media, just search "DelSheree" and you'll find me. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one!

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