Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Writing Life

On multiple occasions my oldest daughter has declared that she will one day be an author! She always adds a…”just like Daddy.” to the end, though that may just be my creative license/memory kicking in here. In any event, I don’t doubt her. She’s been a storyteller for a long time, especially when she’s blaming her siblings for something broken in the house! But more importantly, she’s been writing some of those stories down. That’s how it starts, and for some of us once that writing bug takes hold, it doesn’t let go. I’m fairly certain that’s the case with her.

As much as I love to hear her say that she wants to follow this writing around like I do, a part of me is reluctant to fully embrace it for her. There are so many things she doesn’t know: the hours spent behind the keyboard wondering if it’s all worth it, the pain of seeing a story fall apart as you try to put it together, the late nights and the early mornings when the story won’t let go and starts driving you crazy, or even just that nagging uncertainty that even if it all comes together will it be worthwhile or will you be the only person ever reads your masterpiece?

Even with the lows, there are awesome highs. They seem to come less often, but they must be the reason those of us who venture those long hours behind the keyboard keep at it. There is the first time you see something you wrote in print (The Power of Teddy Bears), or even scarier…the first time you get to read your writing out loud—mine was on NPR’s This I Believe essay series! (At least it was pre-recorded). Those are the hooks that keep us going, fueling the hope.

This year has brought a bunch of high points for me. I landed in the hands of a great literary agent, Liz Kracht, and she helped me craft my latest novel well beyond my abilities. And just this week Liz sold the book to Oceanview Publishing. Crazy! I’ll finally see my story in print, where I can go into Barnes and Nobles and find it on the rack! That’s the kind of hook that will keep me at this for a long time!

So when Cheyan tells me that she wants to be a writer, part of me wants to tell her about all the little things along the way. But that would be cheating her. She’ll figure it all out when she needs to, and all those trials will make the call from her literary agent that much sweeter…the call where she learns she landed her first book deal! Thanks Liz!

1 comment:

  1. I see your dilemma. I can't say I'd want my granddaughter (long story, granddaughter without having a child) being a writer. Our first instinct is to protect them. The writing world can be cruel, painful, lonely-- not something I'd want for her. Then again, like you said, there's the highs that sustain us. The point is, I'm glad I won't have to have that discussion for a loooong time, if ever. She just turned 9 months.