Anxious thoughts motor through my mind like numbers on a ticker tape: Am I a writer? an accountant? a mother, a wife? …a full-time housekeeper? Where do I land today and what do I do next? The answer typically lies in whatever screams loudest: the stinky diaper, the empty refrigerator, the tax return due next week.
Rae recently announced that one of their resources at school is “guidance.”
“What do you do in guidance?” I ask, clanking and shoving dishes into the washer from a disheveled stack where they’ve been not-so-quietly waiting since breakfast.
“Mrs. Roberts talked about hats.”
“Yeah, hats. Like how we have a sister hat and a daughter hat and a friend hat and a student hat.”
I half-listen to what she says, distracted by the ticker tape now displaying my own hats. May be you should go talk to Mrs. Roberts, the caption below the pictures reads,What’s she know that you don’t?
At night, I read novels like a wild animal devours the scraps it finds; I just can’t seem to eat enough words. I crawl into bed where my first read by Jody Picoult’s awaits and spend hours admiring the word pictures she embroiders. A master craftsman at work, her patterns inspire. One day, I wanna write like that.
It’s taken me a while to cut the string off, peel the paper off the box, and dig through all the tissue, but I think I’ve finally gotten down to the heart of the matter: I want to write a book. I didn’t know it when I started this little blog. I think it was God’s way of tricking me; He knows I love encouraging words and would never endeavor on a writing-a-book-project without some hootzpah I’d quietly gathered from others.
Most days I don’t think I’m “good enough,” but some of you have made me suspicious that I may just be. Thank you for that. Really. But don’t go putting “yes-man” comments in below just because I’ve told you this. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m just talking it out…
My dream would be to write fiction: to create something out of thin air. Or life, whatever you call it. But for now, the Lord’s put a non-fiction idea on my heart; one that has me swinging the pendulum from excitement to dread, depending on the moment you catch me. Ironically, it’s about dread. And not having it. And having other things, instead, like joy.
I could say fear has me immobilized in its grip, but that’s not entirely true. I’m scared, but not paralyzed; thinking more, but not hiding. Aren’t we always scared when we step out and do something new? Doesn’t the unknown and newness freak us out and cause us to feel like a toddler getting his sea legs?
Courage and bravery would be unnecessary were there no fear.
As I’m taking my first steps in this new writing life sometimes I feel like an excited kid on Christmas morning, coming to the tree in my p.j.s, bleary-eyed but expectant, having stayed up too late dreaming of treats and treasures, if only the sun would arrive.
Other times I take what was intended as a gift and turn it into a chore. My mind goes to work on my calendar like fingers on a Rubik’s cube trying to find the perfect pattern with leftover days for chapter-writing. The blank squares? They don’t exist.
I send up a silent prayer, smoke-signal style on a clear-blue morning:
“How? When?…HOW?! WHEN?!”
The reply, this time, comes quickly: “Whenever you’re ready.”
A nice surprise! A deep breath. Freedom.
So, I just wanted to tell you. I’ll write a book when I’m ready. May start when my kids are in college…may start next week. That wide open space fits just about right. Feels like Christmas in September.
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