Monday, January 5, 2009

First Time Is Charming

This is not the first time I have attempted to write a blog. But it is the first time I have attempted to write a blog that somehow defines me. I quickly realized that was futile, but I did it anyway. And now, here we are. I'm telling you what I'm doing and, somehow, it helps me tell you who I am.

I recently realized, that all over the world, writers are expressing themselves and people are reading the things they're expressing. When it happened, it was this mind-blowing discovery. I know that sounds silly but all of my life I have wanted to write things and have people read them. And I never really knew how. I thought there were a lot of rules regarding this. I thought that there was a tried and true strategy to have a career as a writer. That, just like doctors and lawyers and teachers, there had to be some kind of clear path. A certification even. But, while all my friends had flipped their tassle from one side of their graduation cap to the other and were standing in front of their students, or a courtroom, or listening to someone's heart, I still hadn't accomplished what I set out to do: become a writer.

I had all kinds of stories sitting, not only, in my desk drawers and on hard drives, but lounging, leaning even...ok...possibly snoring away in my head. And no one was reading them.

So, I sat down one day and told myself I was going to do what I'd wanted to do since I was a little kid (and had done once when I was 12 years old and wrote a book called 'Ten Is Enough' based ever so loosely on the 'Eight Is Enough' sitcom, but more on that later...): write a novel.

As soon as I did, things became a lot clearer for me. All of the sudden, I was telling some close friends and family what I was doing. It was terrifying to tell people that. Because it meant that I actually had to do it. And, as soon as I started telling people, there was this horrifying question. What is it about? And I had to answer. I had no choice. I mean, I wasn't delving into every little intricate detail, but there had to at least be some kind of loose synopsis. And that's how this whole thing started. First I had to tell myself I was writing a novel and, like all of the stories I had written that no one was reading, I knew that wasn't good enough. So I'm telling you.

Ever since I started telling people what I'm doing, I have been more motivated than ever to do it. And I have been. Writing-- that is. And writing more diligently than I ever have in my life. I know what you're thinking: Who cares? You're not the first person to sit down and write something with the intention of other people reading it. This isn't highly original, Melissa. And, I know it's not. But I'm doing it. And this is a blog. So I wanted you to know :-)


  1. I know what you mean about having to do something because you told people you are doing it. I'm the same way in that respect. I have to own what I speak, so it enforces the desire in me to do it; to commit.

    You're a good writer. You express yourself well. I subscribed to your blog.

    Tom Lane

  2. Thanks Tom! There is something about committing to what you've said. You take ownership of it, in a way. It sounds cliche but it's good to be a 'man of your word'.