I still remember sitting across from Carol in the side table at Toot’s Bakery & Cafe.
Toot’s is a rather unassuming coffee shop with a variety of salads, sandwiches and lots of flavored coffee. They had lots of space to sit for a while, a (mostly) friendly staff and the typical see-through glass window display featuring their daily specials.
“So what do you want to write about? What’s your story going to be?” Carol sat across from me and looked at me. I squirmed, partly nervous to verbalize the hope in my heart and partly because I was nervous.
“Yes, yes, I mean, I wrote when I was little.”
“Everyone has a book in them. But not many actually write it,” Carol said. She smiled. It was a kind smile. It seemed she thought I could do it. It had been a while since someone told me I could do something. I came from such a practical family. That’s not always a bad thing. It just means one doesn’t get the go ahead to do something out of the norm.
So I started writing.
I came to The Write Bunch, a local writers group every month, clutching the papers I’d worked. With voice trembling those words were read aloud. Then I’d swallow hard, bracing myself for feedback.
It was such a kind group of women. They gave me encouragement and gentle critique. Going there each month propelled me to write. I couldn’t show up without something in my hand!
Well, the first book is….well, I don’t know. It’s not even in a drawer. It may not even be in a computer file anymore! It wasn’t very good. Most first books aren’t.
But the book being good isn’t the important part.
The important part was doing the work. Showing up. Getting feedback. Listening and learning.
And continuing to write.
Melody was the first character in my books. Her original story was lost, but she continues on and made lots of friends along the way. She and I have had such a good time together.
How about you? What is the story inside of you?