I started the month of September with meeting a real live author. As in an "I've-sold-17-million-books" author, Diana Gabaldon.
I ended September with meeting a real live war hero. As in an "I-am-finally-writing-my-memoirs-and-want-you-to-help-me" hero, Chuck.
And I think the primary reason I am able to help Chuck write (and to finally make my own book a reality) is something Diana said at lunch that day: "I always knew I had a book in me."
So did I. But I was always afraid to say it out loud.
Last week I went looking for my college transcript. I didn't find it, but in the middle of my search, in the middle of my closet, in the middle of a box full of stuff from grad school, I found a book I had started writing way back when. Like 1983. And you know what? It's not awful. Kind of a Jodi Picoult-ish story, full of angst and tensiosity (it's a family word). Although I'm not too interested in re-visiting that story, it gives me another reason to keep writing -- if I did it once, I can certainly do it again. Plus, I'm a lot smarter than I was when I was 24, thank goodness.
I am also not as afraid of rejection as I was when I was 24. My writing was rejected a lot back then, and it did take the wind right out of my sails. (Perhaps it was because I used too many cliches. !)
Maybe all this blogging has also given me a boost. Although I don't have a lot of followers, I know several people who actually look forward to my next post.
And maybe it's that my friends are standing behind me, giving me a firm push. Last January, at her dad's funeral my college BFF Ann introduced me as her friend "the writer." It shocked me a bit, because I didn't think I had mentioned my current ambitions to her. I had, however, helped her through English 101 and 102, written her a short story as a Christmas gift one year, and written a song for her wedding. I guess that qualifies.
Last Christmas, my pal Joannie gave me a journal for writers.
I think my friends are expecting big things from me. And you know how I hate to let my friends down.
So, it's time to throw off my namby-pamby attitude about my skills and hang out my writing shingle. (And quit using idiomatic expressions.)
I am a writer.
In that box in my closet I also found my thesis prospectus, all my notes and thesis research, a pretty boring but mostly well-written (did I just say that again?) 20-page linguistic analysis of politeness in Jane Austen novels, and a peer review of another grad assistant named James. It's a pretty stellar review, and I wish I could remember James, because according to me, he sounds like a heck of a guy. I think I will google him, or look him up on facebook.
But I might wait until we get Chuck's book published, so I can tell James that I am a Real Live Writer.