I know that this is merely a shout into the void, an echo into silence–as Neil Gaiman said in his lovely commencement speech at the University of the Arts, like a message in a bottle sent out across the ocean, hoping it might reach someone. But sometimes it’s not about who receives the message, and who responds. Sometimes it’s just about taking the time and strength and emotion to create the message in the first place.
I was born a writer. Before I even knew what that meant, I was it and it was me. I told stories to my stuffed animals based on the pictures in the books I
could not yet read; I taught myself to read the summer before kindergarten; I folded pieces of paper in half to create books that I could write in. That’s all I ever was and all I ever could be–and I was assured, ridiculously assured, that I would be a bestselling author before I turned thirteen.
Now I am twenty three and penniless. More than that, I am wordless. I am living my worst nightmare every day, a grown-up life in which I am not a writer and so
what am I? My future, my life, is not waiting around for me to make a book happen so I can start my real life; it is coming on full force and expecting me to be an adult now. Every day I agonize about writing, thinking about how I could make it work, how I might write and publish something as fast as possible, and still have it be amazing, and… But it gets me nowhere. I still believe it will happen, that it’s just around the corner, and I think I will believe that until either it happens or I die.
This is not a journal for me to angst over not being a writer… yet. Angsting over such a thing is pointless and a waste of time; better to spend that time writing and trying. So instead this is a journal for me to write about writing, to share some tips and thoughts about the craft (with the full disclosure that I have absolutely no credentials other than a library of writing how-tos and a life of reading), and to maybe, just maybe, find someone out there who will send a bottle back to me with the simple message: “Me too.”