In 1970, when I was in the eighth grade, I met with my guidance counselor to determine my electives. I told her I wanted to be an artist, and she registered me for Art 101. I still remember how eager I felt on the first day of class, sitting behind a huge paint-splattered table until the teacher began telling us what would be required in order to pass her class. Anticipation soon turned to fear, and I panicked. The occasional “C” was shame enough; to get an “F” would be mortifying. When the dismissal bell rang, I ran to my guidance counselor’s office and told her how I felt. If only I had. Instead, I told her I had been wrong. I thought art was boring, and I wanted to switch to Home Ec.
In college, the longing to major in art continued, but I couldn’t get past the belief, I wasn’t good enough. Twenty-two years went by. It wasn’t until the Y2K scare in 1999, I thought if the world is going to end, I would at least like to try a watercolor class. I was forty-three when I enrolled in a community college continuing education art class and haven’t stopped painting since.
My debut novel, She Lost Her Muse is a young artist’s journey in overcoming self-doubt. It could be anyone’s journey at any age. Being held back by fear impacts us all. It’s especially powerful when trying to get in touch with our creative selves.
Some of the best writing advice I’ve received has been to, “just let your characters talk.” When I do this, an hour can seem like five minutes. I’m not the first writer to have this surreal experience filled with surprises. But it has made me understand why writers write. Why I write.
Similar to my artistic pursuits, my writing fiction has been an intimidating journey a longtime in the works. This time I didn’t jump out from behind a table and run away. I persevered. And ten years from when I began, my debut novel will be available on Amazon March 31, 2021. You won’t know unless you try.
June Rollins is an artist with signature membership in the Southern Watercolor Society and author of Alcohol Ink Dreamscaping Quick Reference Guide. Her twenty years experience writing narrative essays shines through in her lively writing style and her colorful characters’ intricately woven lives. She has been published in Watercolor Artist and is a regular contributor for Yadkin Valley Magazine. June lives in the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Reverend Robert Rollins, Jr., who is nothing at all like Pastor Wayne. She Lost Her Muse is book one of The Maypole Artists series and her debut novel.