Monday, August 27, 2007

Lessons Learned - Lesson 1

One of the great reasons we have this blog is so that writing mothers can share their experiences and what they’ve learned. As I learn things that help me build my writing career, I want to chronicle them here on Mama Needs a Book Contract. My hope is that I can be helpful.

I hope that somewhere out there on “the Internets,” as Heather says, some aspiring writing mother will click her way here, and find kinship, information, inspiration, and most importantly encouragement that yes, Virginia, you can be a writer.

I hope for this because two years ago I was that mom.

I was an unpublished, hopeful wannabe writer. Had been, in fact, for at least 30 years.

My mommy always said I could be a writer. ;-) My dad said I could be a writer. Dear, sweet Mrs. Calloway, my high school English teacher, said I could be a writer. My high school magazine teacher told me I was a writer. My distant relatives always asked me if I was a writer yet.

Later, my husband told me I could be a writer. My friends told me I could be a writer. My college English teacher told me I should be a writer.

But I shed some tears on my 37th birthday because I was almost 40, and I wasn’t a writer. It wasn’t as if I regretted the path my life had taken. I loved all of it: the years I spent in a Christian leadership program, the years following when I spent most of my time helping and ministering to people, the first years of marriage when we focused on stability and our new life together, and the first years of motherhood, when I focused on enjoying one of my dreams come true.

But now that I had all that in place, I wanted to be a writer. So on my 37th birthday, I prayed to God. There was some whining involved.

Two months later, my husband and I went to a Bible conference where I ran into an old friend. She pulled me aside as if to tell me something important.

She described a series of events that led to her getting a job working at home as a proofreader for a major educational publishing company. She remembered (after all these years!) that I wanted to be a writer. And she looked for me at this conference so she could tell me one thing: “Carolyn, God can open doors for you.”

It was like God was talking to me. Heck, He was talking to me. Answering me.

Before I turned 38, I was a writer.

Lesson learned: Yes, Carolyn, you can be a writer.


Serenity Now! said...

I love these lessons! I think that we need to chronicle lessons like this so that we can a) remember where we came from and b) help others to know how to walk the path.

There I go with that listmaking again...

Carolyn Erickson said...

You listie, you!

I always get so much out of the things you share. LOVE the list post.

...Which reminds me:

Everyone go read Heather's Monday morning goals post, because I unceremoniously posted right on top of hers. It was an accident, I promise! But you don't want to miss it. It's a great example of how a real Writing Mother gets it done.