This past week I have jumped farrrrrr outside of by comfort zone in search of copy-writing opportunities. A side-hustle, if you will. I’ve had a lot of side-hustles in my life, but this is one that I really enjoy. I’m not selling anything but my gift of writing. I’m thrilled to say, I’ve got an interview next week for a neighborhood publication. I hope this will keep me actively writing as I work on my book. Yes. There it is. The second time I have actually said, I am writing a book. I have wanted to write a book for a long time. I don’t know why, but there is a story, or 50, that need to be told. I’m finally at a stage in my life where I am willing to tell the tales. Just kidding. I’m sure some of you got real nervous, but I’ve skeletons, too. I like to drag them out and parade them around. I have my own circus with plenty of clowns. No need to include yours in my tales, unless you were there.
My mother’s first reaction was, “well, just remember how nice your mother is and how good I’ve been to you.” That made me laugh. I told her all names would be changed and I would label it fiction to protect her good name. Nora Ephron always said her mother told her, “Everything is copy.” And this holds true for most, if not all, successful writers. They pull from what they know. Don’t worry, mom, I remember your stack of fli-back paddles you kept in your top dresser drawer to keep us in line (and seriously, there were there to threaten, but I never remember “meeting” them)….there is nothing but goodness to say about you. And I might fear those Fli-backs are still there.
My my mother birthed four kids before she was 30. I know it was how they did it in the 70’s but geez. When I turned 30, I had a big ass party with my two best friends in a hole in the wall burger joint known as The Majorette with entertainment provided by a little band know around the triad as The Fairlanes. Thank you Mark and guys for tolerating us through our 30s. I have two words for y’all…..Mustang Sally. Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about having kids. I was dating a guy I thought I might want to have kids with one day (let’s thank LBJ* right now for the miracle of that NEVER happening), but I was also drinking and doing a lot other stuff. Thankful for the experience. Even more thankful to have lived through it. And….I might have my second book in the works here thinking about all of THAT.
I want to write a non-fiction book first, that’s focused on what lessons I’ve learned in life. Not focused on me, but on life lessons about fear and anxiety and other emotions. Things people can actually relate to on a personal level. I am a huge fan of Brene Brown and her work on shame. Working through your shame is hard but I can tell you, once you do, there is nothing that can stop you. Every bit you let go, you feel stronger and ready to take on the world. You become BRAVE.
This not only goes for shame, but for fear and self doubt. It’s some of the hardest work I have ever done. My life coach, Jane Waller, once told me that you can work through whatever you have the capacity to deal with at the time. It’s like peeling an onion. You’re taking off one layer at a time. If your eyes water to much, wash your hands and come back to it when they dry out a little bit. She’s right. It’s taken me 20 some odd years to get from where I was to where I am. Countless journals and sketch pads full of crap that I needed to release.
When I first started writing, I was typing my book on my ipad. Then, through an early morning journal session, I figured out I would be far more authentic if I wrote it all by hand. I might be insane for thinking this is a good idea, but far more truth is flying out of my pen than ever came from my typing fingers. My yellow legal pad is filling up fast. We shall see where this road goes. I know it will take me on plenty of adventures. For now, I am hoping to find some new opportunities writing copy or copy editing to help hone in on my writing skills. Practice makes perfect, you know!
*LBJ – for those unaware is Little Baby Jesus