So. Did you know that I have three picture books, one novel, an embarrassingly large amount of poetry (no, really - when I die and they find all these journals, my grandkids will probably rename me the crazy poetry-gram), and HA, untold abandoned novels in progress -- all hidden away in the deepest depths of my computer, or under my bed, or tucked into a bookcase?
I mean, seriously, people. I've been writing since ... well, let's just put it this way: in the summer between second and third grade I practically forced my mother to teach me how to write in cursive. I was seven, you guys.
While other kids were playing freeze tag and zooming down the streets on their banana-seated bicycles, I sat in the seat of the large picture window in our living room, pen in hand. I practiced my looping letters again and again, the sun warming my back as I filled page after page.
In elementary school, I devoured books like most kids eat up Saturday morning cartoons. I have my mom to thank for that. There wasn't a week that snuck by without us visiting the library. To this day, every time I enter a library I am filled with a sense of giddy contentment.
By the time I reached middle school, my best friend and I were writing plays nearly every day after school, dragging my kid sister by the hand to act them out with us. Granted, these plays were inspired by the Sweet Valley High series most of the time, but still, I was writing.
In high school I spent most of my time in class working on stories, oblivious to what was going on around me, and my evenings behind the computer, writing poems and short stories, saving them in a hidden file that only I could see.
I never shared my stories with anyone. They were too personal, not good enough, just a silly hobby, and many other lies I wrapped myself in as I was growing up.
Read. Write. Repeat.
That's the short story of my life.
And now, at the ripe old age of 36, I'm finally sharing what I write. I'm editing my completed novel and learning everything I can about the weird world of publication.
I can say, without grimacing (most days), that I am a writer.
It took a long time to get here. And there are still miles and miles to go.
And honestly, I'm not sure I would have found the courage to consider publishing a book or even say, "I'm a writer," had I not been fortunate enough to find the National Writing Project. This amazing body of believers has done more for my self confidence than anything else I've ever been a part of. Oh, and my husband, who almost daily asks me if I'm working on my story. His fierce confidence in me holds me up when I'm looking at the words I've written as if they're a three-headed monster dressed in drag.
So that's my secretiest secret. I'm a writer. I hoard books and quotes and words like a dragon guarding her richest treasures.
Only, it's time to let the secret go -- this chameleon has to stop hiding.