Yesterday, I saw a license plate I could identify with:
Of course, for the full effect, you needed to read the custom license plate frame. Above the plate it read: "I love creating," and then below was a web address. I was driving at the time, so I unfortunately don't remember the address.
In short: I love creating kids books
Aha! I thought. A kindred spirit right in front of me. But then it made me wonder. Is she/he published? Not published? What kinds of kids stories do they write? And with all these questions, I wondered if I would have the moxy to make that MY license plate?
I remember reading a post by Hilary Wagner
, author of Nightshade City, shortly after she got a book deal. She confessed that she didn't tell anyone she wrote until after she had an agent. That post really made me think, because I, like her, didn't want to tell anyone about it until I'd had some tangible success.
At that point, I kept a family blog, but not one to chronicle my writing. Only direct family (and critique partners) knew my secret. I felt comfortable with that. It's better this way
, I told myself. Less to explain. But what I found was that I was withholding a significant part of myself from people I really cared about. Standoffish is probably the best word to describe how I felt.
For me, that wasn't okay, so I changed some things.
I remember the first time I told a friend that I was writing a book. I steeled myself for the reaction. You know, that credulous look that says, "you really think you
can write a book good enough to be published?"
It never came. Instead, she said, "Actually, that doesn't surprise me." She asked all kinds of questions about what I was writing, my writing process, and what my plans were. And I realized that people who care will always be interested. Always believe you can succeed.
Because that's what friends do.
I still don't tell just anyone, but I don't withhold it from my friends either. So back to the original question: would I choose a license plate like this?
The answer is probably not. At least not yet.
What about you? Who do you tell that you write?