“If you want to publish, then at some point we’re going to read it.”
Yep. Oh goodness, yep. I was at lunch with friends, and we were talking about my writing. More specifically, we were talking about why they had never read my writing.
It has been years since I have shared my writing with anyone beyond the anonymous Internet. I’ve shared some fanfiction on sites, to good feedback, but have not had an actual, physical person in my life read my writing in over a decade. Somewhere along the way, I got scared. Shy. Insecure.
But if I’m going to actually make my writing a book, paper and glue and physically hold it in my hands, someone is going to find it and read it. Someone I know. Someone who might love it, someone who might hate it. Sharing this world in my head with anonymous people is one thing, but sharing it with those I see in my day to day life feels…strange and unfamiliar.
Imagine holding conversations over lunch about my characters, my world, my story. It’s ludicrous. It’s incredible.
I looked myself in the mirror and realized that I want that. It is scary, putting this piece of my soul out there, but also exhilarating. I want to one day hand a book to someone and say, “I wrote this!”
This fall, I plan to start querying my first book out. It can be a long and tiring process, but it is step one, and a step I am getting more and more anxious to take. With a little luck and a lot of work, that moment where I hand my book to someone could happen next year.
I want it. Bad.
The world is made up of stories. We live our stories every day. Sometimes our stories are methodical and slow. Sometimes they are frantic and full of chaos. Usually, they exist somewhere in between.
We consume stories in every form. Books, TV shows, and movies; gossip, people watching, and networking. Each person’s social media profile is a story, carefully crafted to show and tell the world only the parts a person wants to show. They clean before they snap for Instagram. They gloss over the argument they had with their spouse when talking about the amazing date night they had. We are made of stories.
If you think about it, we are all authors. Some of us just like to write stories that aren’t our own – and that is where some incredible magic, and a whole lot of hard work, happens.
I have so many stories I want to share with the world. I cannot wait to take the next steps to get there. One day, I will hold a novel in my hand with my name on it. I just need to find the path to get there.
I am excited to share that journey with you.
He laughs with his whole body.
Sitting on the couch, he pulls his lanky legs up to his chin and stares at me with bright blue eyes. His knees are knobby, his arms gangly, the first glimpse of puberty found in his awkwardly long limbs. A scattering of freckles dusts the lean cheeks that once were full of baby fat and dimples. This is eleven, and it is a door through which I can glimpse just a hint of the man he will become.
“Moooooom!” The word is full of dismay and joy in equal parts, torn between embarrassment at my antics and the joy that bubbles up from within. He locks his attention on me and waits with barely contained patience. I make him wait just a little longer, and his keen eyes flash.
“Bed for time,” I tell him in a serious tone. His body shakes again as the laughter comes. His face cracks open in a grin, his arms flail just a little, and he jumps from the couch to place his hands on his slender hips. His body is thin and long, his height suddenly towering.
“You said it wrong!”
I did, son. I did. And the gift of your laughter, your joy, will have me saying it wrong again and again – even if you should have been in bed long ago.
These moments are everything.