It was one of those days where I was feeling a wee bit less than. I had been on a panel with some other women whose blogs were positively exploding and I let myself play the comparison game and of course I lost. This was a part of something called Bookfest, and after the panel I wandered over to the PNWA’s booth where I sat in a rather vacant corner of the fest and saw my life for the small and meager thing it apparently was. Why am I here? I wondered. What exactly is the point? I was getting ready to leave in a huff when The Writer appeared. She emerged out of the crowd and asked me about writing for Author. This sounds like a simple sort of question for the Editor-in-Chief of Author answer, but neither of us could figure out what she would write for me. Soon, however, she was telling me about her life, about her career at the Post Intelligencer that ended when that paper folded; about how she had hoped to start her real writing career once she was free from the shackles of that tired job; about her husband’s sudden illness, about her mother’s sudden illness; about how just as she was getting ready start something new there were more people to take care of.
“I keep wondering when it’s going to be my turn,” she told me.
Sometimes, just as when you’re writing, if you tune into a person you feel as if they’re a character in one of your stories, and then you become like a character in your stories, and you can feel as if you’re talking from that same place where all your best stories come from that is both you and not you.
“It’s always been your turn,” I heard myself say.
“Thank you,” she said, and started to cry and laughed at herself. “I guess that’s just what I needed to hear.”
We hugged and I wished her luck and I left the fest full of optimism and enthusiasm for life’s bounty. Give me more of that, I said to no one in particular. That’s why I’m here.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.