The Best Advice I Ever Got…
As a new mom juggling a seven-month-old daughter, freelance gigs for 4 local magazines, and part-time duty as an administrative assistant, it’s become easy to abandon the pen. My dream (like many writers, I presume) is to write a book that gets published. My ultimate dream is to have that book converted into a film someday. Yet, since passion doesn’t sign the checks or pay the bills, it has become easy – too easy – to keep my dream alive. You see, as long as my dream flourishes and flickers on the big screen of my mind, the reality of it remains unborn.
I’m a writer at heart, trapped in the gloriously wonderful life of being a wife, mother, and part-time employee. While doing the mundane tasks of an office clerk, I write, cross-out, then rewrite scenes for my book. While nursing my infant, I imagine who would play the roles of my lead characters (Jennifer Lawrence and Maggie Lawson would make a stellar mom-daughter duo in my story, and who else could play Grandpa Joe besides the one-and-only Tommy Lee Jones? I’m going to need a big budget…).
And while that’s all fine and good, the fact of the matter is the more time I spend thinking about being a writer, the less time I spend actually becoming one. Perhaps the best advice – the defibrillator paddles that shocked me from my humdrum dreaming – came from friends I’ve never met:
Please don’t be one of those people who just talk about being a writer…BE a writer. Write something! And never give up — never, never, never, never. – Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
Write about what obsesses you. – Liza Dalby, The Tale of Murasaki
Try, as much as possible, to pour your life into those things you love. – Wayne Johnson, A World Elsewhere
No matter how daunting, impossible, or difficult and painful it seems, keep writing. It’s worth it. – Laura Zigman, Animal Husbandry
So here I am, in the wee hours of morning while, like the sun, my family sleeps. Here I am, trusting people whom I have never met – people whose words grab my soul more tightly than some folks I interact with on the daily. Here I am, feeling vindicated that, finally, someone understands that good writing is hard. That it will assault you, leave you broken and bloody, then run off with your valuables and sanity. And, here I am, despite my cuts and bruises, grinding out one more word and then another, and, if I’m lucky, one more. Because I’m a woman obsessed and I’m doing this new thing where I try, as much as possible, to pour myself into those things I love, no matter how daunting, impossible, difficult, or painful.
And I know it’s going to be worth it.