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.