While in NY for BlogHer, I was invited to join the ladies of From Left to Write—a book club for bloggers—at a surprise book signing. I know what you’re thinking… “You? Read?” Well, I do every now and then (no, I’m not just talking about board books), and figured joining this group would be great inspiration. It was. The surprise? An intimate gathering with the funny and talented Karen Bergreen, author of Following Polly. After a spirited chat with her, she signed my copy, “Write a book.” And while Following Polly was supposed to be the inspiration for this post, it turns out Karen was too. Thanks Stacy, Linsey and Karen for welcoming me into From Left to Write so warmly.
If you ask your kids, I bet they have all kinds of ideas about what they want to be when they grow up. Big wants to be a football player. Little wants to be a long jumper (ok, he hasn’t actually said that, just a guess based on the way he gets from point A to point B throughout the day).
As a young girl, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. Then I hit high school and found the boys on the team were far more interesting than the 5am practices. I also fell in love with math around that time. And until I almost failed calculus (still calling foul on that since I got a 4 on the AP test, but who’s keeping track?), I thought I’d become a math teacher. My next ambition? Hand model. Yes, seriously. I’d read an article about a woman who made $80,000 a year because she had lovely long fingers (that probably failed her at the piano like mine). The best part? She wasn’t allowed to do dishes or clean. For years (as my college roommates will confirm) I wore softening gloves to bed and drank milk with a vengeance. One day I got the nerve to admit this dream to a professional photographer I was
ordering lunch interning for. He glanced at my hands and told me to find another dream.
Well, becoming Amanda Woodward was my back up plan. You know, from Melrose Place. That show and Heather Locklear’s gorgeous neighbors made advertising look so very sexy. (Plus I never saw her doing dishes either.) The creative teams at the agencies I interned for kept the mystique alive. Sold. I’d become a copywriter.
Before I knew it I was a copywriter going to career counseling in search of a new dream. (A couple crazy—really, really crazy—bosses will do that to you.) After a few personality and interest tests, the counselor told me I should be a…drumroll, please…writer. So I found a new job I really enjoyed stuck with it.
As I was reading Following Polly, I couldn’t help but relate to the main character, Alice. She too was struggling to find a career that made sense for her. But, like Alice, I recently discovered that I’ve had a passion—and, some might even say a talent—all along. I simply didn’t know how to channel it.
I do love to write. (Much to the horror, no doubt, of my high school English teachers.) And while coming up with a snappy ad headline can feel good, it’s the story telling that I get really excited about. I somewhat accidentally discovered this as I started writing about parenting for YodelingMamas (which I now get to run!). That’s why this blog was born. And why it means so much to me. My posts—my stories—are a wonderful way for me to connect with people who are experiencing similar ups and downs in life.
Who knows, after Karen’s encouraging words (along with those of my good friends A & M), plus watching Alice discover how she could bring her passion to life, maybe I’ll even tackle writing that book I’ve been talking about someday soon. In the meantime, thanks for being a part of helping me do what I love right here.
Disclosure: As a member of the From Left to Write book club, I received a free (*signed*) copy of this book. I was not obligated to write about the book, but I really enjoyed it and will share it with friends.
Linsey Krolik says
Thank YOU so much for joining From Left to Write, Amy! It is wonderful to be inspired. Having a passion is certainly something to celebrate. I feel similarly in that I feel like I’ve been thinking about writing a book forever….it seems so daunting…doesn’t it? Maybe we can support each other 🙂 I can’t wait to read more of your writing.
Thanks, Linsey. Maybe we can also start a book writing club. I would love to read yours and I’m actually already starting to outline mine…this IS going to happen.
How nice that the author further served to inspire you! I don’t have a book in me, yet, at least, but I do enjoy blogging. I do notice that the more I write the better I get, so at the very least, keep blogging. Hope your dream comes true one day!
Thanks, Emily. I agree, the more I write, the better grove I get in. Happy writing to you too!
I suspect a lot of writers come to the profession in that manner. I know I did. I love writing far too much to be PAID to do it. Not that I’m complaining or anything…
Christy, one of my favorite parts of the book signing was getting to talk to you. I think we have a lot in common!
But hey, if anyone has paid writing opportunities, send ’em our way!
First of all, I love the title of your blog. LOVE it. Second–welcome to the club. Third–I, too, related to the lifelong dream theme of the book, which you wrote about with an easy humor. I was hoping others would address this theme as well. I look forward to checking out Yodeling Mamas. Best, Melissa
First of all, thank you so much. Second, thank you again (really). Third, your life-long dream story is beautiful and I’m so happy to hear that you got just what you wanted!
Yay for following your passion! I can read your joy in between the lines of your post!!! Brandi
Thanks for the support!
Thanks for following your passions. And thanks for all the support you offer the rest of us. Couldn’t do it without you!
Thanks so much, Nicki! It’s been a pleasure working with you and all the other Yahoo! Mother Board ladies.
I also love the name of your blog! This is a great take on the book. I suspect a lot of people have trouble finding their career “calling,” myself included.
As a side note, my grandmother actually was a hand model. I, unfortunately, did not inherit her long beautiful fingers and perfect nails.
Wow, Jennie. Thanks for your kind words. I so envy your grandmother. I have long fingers, but afraid they’re not so beautiful after all!
Great blog Amy. Follow your passion. What have you got to lose?
So true…sometimes just putting it out there is the first step. Guess I’d better get to that second step… Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon!
*sigh* you have my dream job!! But **even bigger sigh** you deserve it more than I do!
Ha. Well, I do have a great job…but I’m not sure I deserve it more than you. 🙂