I received my first birthday present today. You know, because I’m turning 30. Not sure if I mentioned that. To my pleasant surprise, it was a book. I love books. I love the smell of books, I love to read books, I love to watch the left side thicken as the right side dwindles as I make my way through the winding stories. I mostly enjoy fiction. I think it allows people to wander. Kind of like movies do, but with books, there’s no picture to tell you what to think. You have to use your imagination to paint a scene. You are forced to picture your own characters. The main character in your favorite novel, in your mind, is a fair complected, tall, soft spoken woman, but to your friend, she may be shorter, red-headed and more of a commanding presence. It’s all in the interpretation and this is what I absolutely LOVE about reading… and writing for that matter.
I have not dreamed of writing my whole life. I kept journals beginning in middle school that I didn’t keep up with. Over time I discovered my sister’s journals which were much more appealing as she was older and had a much more interesting life (in my mind)…sorry sis…water under the bridge?
Anywho! It taught me that everyone has their own story. It fascinates me that any stranger off the street could have their own wonderful journey.
I guess I should give some insight on what the inspiration of this post is all about. A friend… kind of family? But not… but technically yes… is also a writer. She is me, but like 400 times more attractive, kind, traveled cooler places and has talent that I admire so very much… anyway, she sent me this lovely little book.
I set it on the counter next to my newly baked batch of cookies (so long new years resolution) and told myself that I would, despite being exhausted from Cori being up half the night crying, and crying all day… pour myself a generous glass of wine and cozy up on my strawberry stained couch and see if this book could spark something in me. I have noticed that my mind just won’t work for me creatively lately and I have allowed my disappointment and stress overwhelm me. I got my children fed and bathed while my husband helped with dishes. I got everyone to bed, showered myself and curled up on aforementioned strawberry stained couch with the hum and thunk of the dishwasher behind me, the last pour of my wine and cracked open this book.
Within the first few pages, I felt as if the creative spot in my brain was being massaged. First, she mentions how she was an awkward child. That to cope with being awkward, she became funny. Well… slap my ass and call me Sally… I can still vividly remember the criticism from my peers. The jokes about my flat chest, my big nose, how I wasn’t pretty “but it’s OK because you’re funny”. As if that’s some saving grace. Because everyone wants to date the mediocre, funny girl, right? *insert eye roll*. I am a sensitive person already and, to this day, I find humor as a crutch to deal with things that make me nervous, uncomfortable or scared. Self deprecating humor was my specialty. I don’t know why I was never allowed to be myself. I never noticed my peers being criticized for the same things I was. But for some reason, I felt as if the people I so desperately wanted to fit in with, were like wolves on the hunt, waiting for any sign of weakness to torment me. And they did. And I took it. This went on from elementary through high school.
I didn’t discover reading/writing as an outlet (consciously) until college. I guess I never allowed it for myself. My friend used to let me borrow some of her favorites and I was immediately hooked. I had realized that all along, I just needed the right story. There were so many kinds! So many genres, styles, authors… it was endless. I took classes that I learned about poetry and the depths of it that I never really understood before, but cherished now. And after the class that started the process of the book that I wrote, I knew I wanted to be a published author. That was after I realized how intensely awkward I was on camera. I’m definitely a behind the scenes type of gal.
But this book just reiterates what I knew… it’s not guaranteed and it may never happen, but the real win is in the writing. The act of it. Yes, it would be amazing to be published. And to some of you, it seems like such an easy task. These days, anyone can upload research or a digital file to Amazon. but to find an agent/publisher who specifically wants what you have to say. You, who has no previous work to judge by. You, who are a speck of fish poop in an ocean of other aspiring writers. I still yearn for it. Not for the money. Not even for the fame. But just to be able to say, “I did it”. So, I will keep writing with the knowledge in mind that I may never be published. I still have one novel down. I still have pursued a blog, which doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment… but to me it is. I am forcing myself to be honest and raw with myself because I feel it allows me to keep my mind open.
I have always had an active imagination and I have a ridiculous memory. I can still recall the smells of my grandparents house and the sound of the puppy that my parents (Santa) got me for Christmas scratching in the box. I can remember the conversation my, now husband, and I had that sparked our love affair. I remember things and my mind swirls around endlessly making stories. Fictional stories wrapped in with truths that I collect over time.
I have been down in the writing dumps lately. Thinking it was because of my daughter’s injury, exhaustion, writer’s block… you name it. I got it. But apparently, this author claims that December is not even a good month for writing/creativity. Who knew!? She compared it to being Monday all the time. And it’s TRUE! So very, painfully, frustratingly true!
So, I have a new burst of confidence as my fingers flick these keys. I couldn’t wait to finish the Introduction to share how very much I appreciate this gift. Once again I feel a brush of divine intervention.
I started this because it makes me feel good. I keep doing it because it makes me feel good. I also keep doing it because I hope that once day, if/when my girls reach that tender age where all kids are assholes… that they will find some inspiration in my words. Some encouragement to push through those awkward years and know that there is a point where it won’t matter anymore. They will get through those times, and reach a point where they will blossom in one way or another into a person they are proud to be. A person they make no excuses for and a person that won’t give a shit whether someone likes them or not.
My only wish is whatever dream they follow, succeed the fuck out of it! Work really hard and make it happen. Let no one tell them that it’s too hard or too farfetched.
In sum… I just want to send a nod to the mother who has truly inspired me. A fellow writer who also hasn’t given up on herself and I hope she never does.
You can view her lovely words at themonstersclub.com
But keep reading mine too 🙂