I never wanted to be a writer.
There. I said it.
It is a truth I came to terms with the moment I realized I was a writer. That moment unfolds in my mind as if a recent memory, as if it were yesterday. The day began like every other: I walked through the doors of a 98% vacant office building. Everyone except myself and two others had relocated to the new, bigger office. I remained to field visitors to the new location who were unaware of the change. It appeared most were aware of the changes because barely anyone came into the office, which left me with plenty time to find something to occupy it with. I quickly tired myself of games online and chatrooms (they were as close as you could get to social media back then). Not only had I found myself bored on the job, I was also bored with life. In all regards, what would I do next?
My internal question became external dialogue with me and the air. There’s got to be more to life than this, I declared. A response was the last thing I expected, but the words whispered in my ear reverberated to my core. They awakened my soul. I welcomed them like a twin separated at birth.
“Monica Brown, that’s my name. Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.”
I didn’t know who Monica Brown was or why someone would continue to ask for her name. What I did know was that I wanted to find out. Immediately, I shut down the games on the computer screen, exited the chatrooms, opened a blank document, and typed every word that filled the air. Monica Brown sat in an empty chair and poured out her soul to me.
I’ve been writing ever since.
I am Julia T. Williams—sometimes Julia Blues—and I am a writer.
I write from my soul to touch yours.
I am a woman on a journey to discover all God has for me, whichever avenues and paths this journey may take me. I am a storyteller whose love for creativity and passion led to two published novels and several short stories that explore the human experience. I am determined to help others live better through my own truth + experiences + storytelling, and with the tools I’ve collected along the way.
WHO IS JULIA?
Life always has a way of showing us who we are and what we are made of. My life has been no different. People who have known me any extent of time swear I work for the C.I.A. due to my lengthy resume. Well, career hopping changed for me when I injured my back on the job. That injury and the events surrounding it introduced me to depression. I was confused, disappointed, physically hurt, full of angst, and mentally exhausted. For 11 years, that was the story of my life and as it kept unfolding, every year seemed to bring more frustration. Year 12, I decided that was no longer my life. I am not what happened to me. I am what and who I choose to be.
- I wanted to be an obstetrician but let the years in school scare me away, so I became a “literary obstetrician” instead.
- I love Salsa Verde Doritos dipped in homemade vanilla ice cream.
- You can’t tell me I’m not the 4th member in all-girl singing group.
- I make my own nail polish colors and body fragrances.
Going into the story, getting into the mind of people, studying their habits, tracing their patterns of behavior are what allows me to fulfill my purpose. Inside each of us is a story. I like helping uncover those stories and give life to truth. I am a behavior-analyzer, pattern-tracer, people-watcher, and a truth-seeker who never turns down the opportunity to help others live better. One way of doing so is through storytelling. My first novel, Parallel Pasts, addresses issues of abandonment and addiction while my second novel, The Last Exhale, touches on marriage and communication. Both stories are steeped in the narrative each character tells in ways that life makes sense for them.
Telling my story freed me, and I want to offer that same opportunity to others, no matter how long they’ve been telling the same story.
WHAT INSPIRES ME
Life. Pain. Experiences. Birds chirping. Leaves falling. Rain. Wind whistling. Darkness. The crash of waves. The chuckle from a great joke. Roadtrips. Joy. Sorrow. Love. A dripping faucet. Music. Running. Taking a shower. Eavesdropping conversations. Everything moves me in some way to create.
Going into the story, getting into the mind of people, studying their habits, tracing their patterns of behavior are what allows me to fulfill my purpose. Inside of each of us there is a story, there is history. I like helping uncover those stories and give life to truth. I am an analyzer, a pattern-tracer, a people-watcher, and a truth-seeker who never turns down the opportunity to help others live better, learn better, grow better, and love better, even if that means using myself as an example.
HOW I WRITE
My process is to write, simple as it sounds. I do not outline or create character bios. For me it usually starts out with a title or line. The story takes a life of its own from there. It feels more organic to me that way. I don’t have to tell someone who they have to be. I accept the story for what it is, the characters for who they are. I write it as it comes. First line to the last line, filling the spaces in between.
In the past I’ve tried note cards, character sketches, creative software. At the break of dawn, it flows better with just a notepad and pen or Microsoft Word and “the voices.” I write as the characters speak. There’s no forcing a story. The more often I write, the more they speak. When I abandon them, they abandon me. I’m still working on schedule we can all agree on.
I go into writing by telling the story I want to read/hear/watch. I’m very spiritual, so I often say it is spirits in which I hear from. I tell the story they tell me. That way, when the story goes into print, I know it’ll reach the people it is meant to, whether they look like me or not. Due to growing up in the Air Force and spending my youth living on three continents, I tend to think I bring those experiences into each character and story.
As I’ve heard through the years, simply write the book you want to read. Listen to your characters. Talk to your characters. Get to know them, their fears, their truth. Also, know your own. When you sit down to write, or stand in some cases, be honest with yourself. Bare your soul on paper.
To reference a quote on my writing board: “I don’t know how to be who I am without writing.” From that, I’ll say to aspiring writers, write from your soul. Steer away from what others are doing to obtain success. They’re telling the stories they are meant to tell. You have a story you are meant to tell and when you speak from your soul, you’ll touch the right reader and find your journey to be that much more fulfilling.
Also, when it comes to marketing, I say don’t. Instead, build relationships. Get to know people instead of trying to sell your product. I’ve noticed whenever I deviate from this principle it always backfires. So I stick to what I know and that’s what’s working best for me. Build and the rest will follow.
Be abundantly blessed!