You see that girl there? The little blondie with her hair pulled back into a pony tail, with a new dress and new shoes, a backpack slung across her shoulders, and a big grin on her face? If I was to guess, I’d say that little girl is all set for her first day of school – I’d guess, oh, first grade. She’s excited because she’s got new notebooks, pencils, and crayons in that backpack, and she gets to go sit at a desk that’s all her own next to her friends, get to know her teacher, and maybe even read some new books.
The day is full of possibilities for this little girl!
Who is she?
You’ve probably guessed by now. That little girl is me. And if I’m correct about it being one of my first days of first grade, if memory serves, just as that little girl is about to walk out the door to catch the bus, she reaches out to turn the door knob and gets stung by a wasp.
The possibilities are endless, alright. A happy moment captured in time, and hindsight is 20/20 – I know now that wasp was coming, but she didn’t. She’s smiling, ready for the day. And if I know anything about that girl now that she’s in her mid thirties, it’s that she knows how to pick herself up when she’s hurt and get back in the game.
Get Back in the Game
That’s what I’m doing here. It’s been too long since I’ve been in the author game. (Didn’t you just publish a book this year? you may be asking if you know me.) Yeah, I did, but I let it slip out so quietly and timidly that it’s barely been noticed. You may also be asking about the blogs and projects I’ve worked on in the past three years – projects like Storybook Ancestor, where my goal was to help kids write their family stories. Yeah, I did all that. But you know what? I have finally come to realize… I didn’t belong there. I was trying to help everyone else tell their stories, but I was neglecting mine. I was neglecting them so much that I began to scoff at them… to doubt myself, to tell myself that I could never have the writing career I’d dreamed of since I was, well, that little girl in the picture.
My First Love: Writing
That little girl in the picture loved to write. She could fill page after page, notebook after notebook, with stories and illustrations. And she didn’t care if they were “good” – it was a joy to write, so she did it. And she dreamed of the day she would be an author. Writing was my first love, my childhood dream, what I wanted to do when I was “grown up”.
Okay, girl in the picture. I want to talk to you. You’re going to go through a lot. You’re going to endure losses, sorrow, and a whole lot of pain. You’re going to grow afraid to write. You’ll deal with depression, anxiety, and rejection. But some day, right about now, you’re going to return to your dream. And despite all of your doubts and fears and limitations, you’re going to chase that dream. You’re going be a writer again.
See, little girl? It’s going to be alright. We’re a writer, and this time, this time, it’s gonna stick with us.
“Pick up a pen, start writing.” – Hamilton: An American Musical
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