“I’ve always wanted to write a novel…”
I hear this a lot. It comes as no surprise to me because I truly believe everyone has a story to tell. But only a few end up actually doing it–getting their stories down and then sending them out into the world. Which ones actually pick up pen and paper, or fire up their computers and actually go for it? There’s such power in taking action on your own behalf, in finally saying, “Today’s the day.”
I have a little card stuck on the bulletin board in my study with a handwritten reminder: “This is your shot.”
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a quick note from Mary Guterson, author of We Are All Fine Here.
“In college, I didn’t know what to do with myself so I became a speech therapist. I figured I could work in the schools, have my summers off, and make enough money to live off of until some Hollywood director discovered me and made me into a movie star. I’d always wanted to be a movie star. Turned out no Hollywood directors were seeking their next discovery in the halls of my suburban Seattle elementary school. Turned out also, I didn’t care for other people’s children. Major career mistake, any way you looked at it.
“One day, a friend of mine pulled a draft of a novel she’d written out of a drawer and handed it to me. I couldn’t believe it. An entire book, written while I’d been doing my best to enjoy the world of lateral lisps and teachers’ lounges. For years, I’d dreamed of writing, but it had always seemed an impossible dream, as unlikely as my becoming a movie star. Who could just sit down and write a book? I stared at my friend’s pile of typed pages. Then I went home and gave it a shot….”
So there you go. What have you done for the writer in you today?