"I Always Thought That Only R.L. Stine Wrote Books"

Monday, May 5, 2014

Writing a book has always sounded like something other people do - people who aren't me. I'm a good writer, I know. It's what I love to do, & even though it's not the focus of my professional life, as I planned when I majored in journalism in college, I've found ways to grow as a writer, to keep it in my life in a meaningful way, & even to find an audience for it (hi & thanks!).

I've thought about writing a book, for sure. I've thought about it my whole life. I used to tell people, "I'll write a book when the time is right. But it's not right yet." Over time, I stopped telling people that - stopped telling them I wanted to write a book at all - because I began to think I'd never reach that point, that the "right" time would never come.

Yesterday afternoon, I attended Brunch, Blogs, & Books: Going from Blogger to Published Author, a panel organized by local blogger Tyece of TwentiesUnscripted.com. After an hour of schmoozing & bottomless-mimosa boozing over brunch at Madhatter, three panelists - two bloggers-turned-authors & one former book beat reporter - took the stage to tell their stories & answer our questions.

The brunch was delicious, the company of my friends Jenn & Maxie was spectacular, & the panel was really interesting - but frankly, it wasn't mind-blowingly helpful or oh-my-god informative. The panelists were all just normal women, around my age, who seemed like people I could know, friends I could have. They were just regular people who turned their side hobby into a side hustle, worked their love of words into something bigger than a corner of the Internet. 

But that was what was so powerful, because like I said: Writing a book has always sounded like something other people do. Writing a book has always been for people who are smarter than I am, more driven than I am, better writers than I am, more compelling storytellers than I am. Writing a book has always been for people who have more time & more ideas & more words & more fans. In short, writing a book has never been for me...

...until yesterday, when I realized, for the first time, that it could be. These women were normal, like me. They had day jobs, like me. They expressed self-doubt, like me (the title of this post came from panelist Alida Nugent, a.k.a. The Frenemy). And yet they still created successful, on-actual-bookshelves books - like I could someday. Watching these totally average (in the most inspiring way!) women talk about moving from blogging to book-writing, it hit me in a much more powerful way than it ever has before: Hey, I could do that.

Panelist GG Renee Hill told us, "If you feel an urge to write a book, listen to it. Write the book. Don't wait until you're ready. You'll never be ready."

I'm not ready - which means I'm probably ready. And now I'm going to try to figure out how to do this.

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