It was a few weeks ago on a Friday night. I had just gotten off the phone with my now agent, and my head was swimming with the possibility of what-could-be—I'd gone into this whole self-publishing thing hopeful. I'd seen what could happen when a story found its niche and audience. I wanted it for me, wanted it for my writing, wanted it for my characters.
That evening, I felt alive [the gin helped].
"How are you feeling with everything?" My phone buzzed with the text from a friend.
I giggled. How was I feeling? High. Euphoric. Scared shitless. Hopeful. Insane.
"Good!" I responded. "I just got off the phone with an agent interested in my work and I'm really excited about it...."
We talked back and forth for a little while, each talking about our hopes and fears with publishing [her book comes out next week]. I told her that the deeper I sink into the possibility of writing books for a living, the more my heart feels at home.
The reply came quick.
"Oh Elora. Let's be writers. Let's really be!"
I smiled, because this is her. Declarative.
The next week, I received a letter in the mail. It was from her, and it was a card with her font scrawled across with black ink --
let's be writers
I have this card now perched on the wall in my office. It's within my line of vision as I type, and so every time I glance up I see her words and remember.
This is what I want. It's what I've wanted. Forever.
I taught myself how to write. Driving with my grandma to her aerobics class, I would remember letters off of signs and copy them on paper as I leaned against the wall—my own babysitter free within those empty pages waiting for my own scrawl. Every night, I'd show them to her.
"What does this say, grandma?"
"Well darling, that says STOP."
And then I'd categorize it.
I did the same thing with our books, the many thrown about our house. After the first few hundred times my dad read me One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish I knew it by memory. If I knew by memory, I could study the way the words curved into each other. How they bounced together and created a rhythm all their own.
From there, I wrote on everything. Paper. Fisher Price kitchen set. Highlights Magazine. I wasn't satisfied with just any story. It needed to make my breath quicken and my arms heavy with longing. It needed to make me break into a grin or a shout because I couldn't get to my journal quick enough.
In elementary school I'd write plays with my friends.
In middle school I dabbled in short stories.
High school brought the angst of poetry.
For me, words—in whatever form—became my safety..
A month ago today, Every Shattered Thing released. It's been a month of crazy highs and crazy lows.
But really, it's solidified one thing: there's nothing I want more than to write.
I think for writers, putting our work out there brings a level of vulnerability we aren't prepared for—no one ever tells you or sends out warnings about the review process. HINT: don't read them. But, as much vulnerability is required, there's nothing like seeing your work alive and breathing and in the hands of others. It's your work. Something you created out of nothing.
That's nothing short of magic.
And regardless of whether you believe those words came to you via Spirit or Muse or Creativity, there's one commonality: nothing scares the shit out of you more than thinking of writing another book, and nothing makes you feel more alive than realizing you get to do this for the rest of your life.
Let's be writers?
Yes. Let's really be.