I’m beginning. I’m still at the beginning. I’m no longer at the starting line, and I don’t know the route or the way to the finish line. But I’ve begun.
Not long ago, my mom gave me a green folder that had special mementoes she had discovered while cleaning out. There were notes and letters. A child’s drawings of hearts and flowers. A book report in the shape of Oklahoma. Just a few things she had saved of mine during my elementary school years. I looked through them, not seeing much more than a pile of faded construction paper hearts with “I love my mom” scribbled in crayon.
Not until I dug deep, did I find something significant. It was a story I’d written, actually two. My mom had written on the back, “Angel came home today so excited to be a writer. An author visited the school. Here are two of her stories she has written so far.” The stories were lackluster and quite morbid. There were no happily ever afters to them. It actually made me sad to read them and there wasn’t much talent there at all, just a childhood imagination.
I don’t remember the day the author visited. I don’t remember writing those stories either. I’m grateful my mom saved them, though. It’s seems to confirm that writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I like to think it’s engrained. It’s stitched in the fibers of my soul. It holds me together with big sloppy stitches. I guess somehow, throughout the years, my childhood dream of writing got pushed beneath all the glamourous, or high paying, or practical jobs that the teachers, parents, and society dictated instead. The little girl who desired to be an ice skater, then a psychiatrist, who settled on a teacher but not before becoming a waitress forgot her aspiration. No one valued writing that I can remember. No one encouraged that. Instead it was the doctor, lawyer, dentist, Dallas cowboy cheerleader kind of jobs to strive for.
I started this blog a few years ago. It’s one of my most valued treasures. I’ve nurtured it and it is my life memoir, so to speak. Some people actually read it. And those same people actually told me I should write more.
So I did.
Last month, I had a small (not so great) ebook published. That was the first hill of my journey.
Today I turned in a second book, and conquered another hill. It is actually a ghost writing project, meaning my name will not appear on it. Someone else will take my story, put their name on it, and pretend they wrote it. For now, that’s okay with me. If I were them, I couldn’t sleep at night, but that’s their issue not mine.
Tomorrow I begin another story.
And then, I have another one after that.
It’s good. It’s all good.
I am beginning to think of myself as a writer. Not a novelist, not even an author, but a just a little bit of a writer.
I’m not getting rich and famous. I’m not even being paid much, but it gives me a little Christmas cash, so I’m pleased.
Maybe somewhere down my journey, I might be considered a novelist. That would be so cool. Maybe at mile marker 1,458, I might have an agent, and an editor, and a publisher.
Dream with me just for a moment. Close your eyes.
Can you see it? I’m wearing glasses and a scarf to hide my old neck. My hair is grayer and I’m autographing a book.
Yes, I can see it. It makes me smile.
When I arrive at mile marker 1,459 I’ll look back on this little post right here, and all the ones before it, and see my beginnings. The ones where I wrote while my baby napped beside me in the bed. The late nights of lots of coffee while the rest of the house slept, the times I took my laptop to the backyard while EK played with the dogs and chickens and I slaved away and on plot twists and character sketches.
It’s an exciting journey, and at times it’s hard and long. But I’m not alone.
Lots have gone before me, and many are with me now.