When I turned 40 last year, I decided it was time to admit to myself and the world around me that I really wanted to be able to call myself a writer. To make this an honest statement, I had to write. This sounds so common sense, but sometimes I miss the obvious.
As a Christmas present to myself, I enrolled in a local memoir writing class with the lovely Marion Roach Smith. The geek in me loved being back in a classroom. The insecure writer hiding inside me did not love having to share my essays with others.
The first week of class, I wrote an essay I entitled “Managing.” Not certain it said exactly what I wanted it to say, I still read it to the class eager for their comments. Thankfully, the other participants were gracious, kind, constructive and intelligent editors. Their feedback helped me look at my work with new insight. I was encouraged to try opening doors I had kept closed and guarded. Since April, I have continued to work on this essay. Others offered their edits (thank you Sandy, Tony and Anne!) while I kept tweaking sentences and paragraphs.
Two months ago, my friend and fellow blogger Lucia asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for her blog, AbleBodies, a blogging collaborative of four wonderful writers who all happen to have disabilities. I hoped this would be a good place to share my essay, and so I sent it to Lucia, ready for her to tell me she wanted a different type of piece, covering a different topic. Instead, it is appearing now as a post on the AbleBodies blog! You can read it for yourself here.
Thank you to Marion, my fellow memoir writers from class, friends and family who have read and re-read this essay over the past 6 months. I think I’m finally done with it. And thank you to Lucia for offering the chance to share it with a wider audience.