So then…I write my first post on my brand new website, sothenstories.com.
Mainly because of conversations like this that I’ve been having for the last kabillion years:
When I meet someone new and they ask what I do, I typically say, “I’m meant to be a world-renown, best-selling writer!”
They smile expectantly and nod encouragingly, like…and?
I say, “But I understand you have to write something first.”
They frown, perplexed.
And I say, “I know, right? What a hassle! Do you know how long it takes to write a book? And they won’t even consider publishing it until you’ve written the whole damn thing. I could write screenplays instead, but everyone’s writing a script! Hollywood execs literally burn screenplays for fuel to heat their hot tub parties with sexy starlets! And don’t even get me started on the market for poetry!”
Then they look confused. So I tell them what I actually do for a living and we carry on.
But it’s a shame, really. I would be such an AWESOME world-renown, best-selling writer! I love to write! And ever since childhood, I could totally envision myself on late night talk shows, chatting away about my books – sharing amusing anecdotes – engaging the audience – charming the host.
I had my endearing grin nailed.
And I wouldn’t be one of those celebs who complains about fame — or whines about fans invading their privacy. I would revel in their adulation!
I would totally sign autographs for anyone –
even in the bathroom.
Even if they didn’t ask for an autograph!
Occasionally people follow up on my stated desire to write – and the conversation usually goes something like this:
They ask me, “Well, then why don’t you write some books and try to get them published?”
And I sigh and list the 57 reasons why this is simply not possible, what with my full-time, high-pressured job; the care and maintenance of my two adorable children; business trips; room parent duties; photos albums to organize; cleaning out the garage–
Then they look at me with disappointment and say something like, “Really? Those are your excuses? Didn’t J.K. Rowling write the Harry Potter series by candlelight in her trailer while supporting her daughter on welfare?”
I say, “Well, I’m not sure if it was really by candleli—”
Then someone else says, “And didn’t that John Grisham guy work like 70 hours a week as a lawyer and still write tons of books?”
“Yeah, that’s right,” the first person says. “Lots of working lawyers write legal thrillers. And doctors with full caseloads write medical thrillers!”
“Full caseloads,” the second person says admiringly, shaking his head. “Saving lives – and still finding time to write. Remarkable.”
I shift uncomfortably. I don’t like the direction this conversation is going. It’s less about how fabulous I could be – and more about how fabulous other people actually are.
“Remember that Michael Crichton guy?” asks first person.
“Jurassic Park?” says second person.
“Right, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, lots of stuff. He sold like 200 million books! And he started writing books while he was still attending Harvard Medical School.”
“Oh. My. Well, that is impressive,” I concede. “But you know, not everyone can find the time to—”
“The key is time management,” says second person.
“Right — time management. Lots of these writers are parents, work a busy career – but they get up at 5:00 in the morning to write,” says first person.
“Yeah, why don’t you get up at 5:00 in the morning?” the second person asks brightly.
“Hmm – mm, well,” I stammer. “Five o’clock is awfully earl—”
“Oh,” they say in unison. They exchange a look. A disappointed look.
“Well,” I splutter quickly, “I just mean that I, ya know, it’s so hard to – ya know, with work and kids and –”
“Oh, no, no, that’s fine,” the first person assures me, holding up a hand to halt my attempt to explain.
“Yeah, totally,” the other person says kindly. “We get it.”
“Yeah, we get it,” the first person says. They sip their drinks and look at me quietly.
Their judgmental expressions whisper slacker, slacker, slacker.
And then I feel really bad. And then I don’t do anything about it for 100 years.
And then I say to myself, Well, I certainly don’t have the writing talent of a Grisham or a Crichton or a Rowling, but I’ll be damned if I let a time management issue be my excuse for not doing something I love to do.
So then…I write.
And it’s not a whole damn book or a whole damn screenplay.
It’s just a story.
A story from my life. Because that’s what I can handle right now.
A few stories a week.
And I’m putting them out there in the hopes that you might find them amusing, or intriguing, or enjoyable, or at least relatable. And I’m hoping you’ll write your story and post it next to mine so I can enjoy your related experience too. And I will laugh or chortle or snort.
Because I love to laugh even more than I love to write.
And we will share the funny, one story at a time.
And who knows, if enough people read my stories and enjoy them, maybe one day someone will ask for my autograph — in a bathroom – and I will toss my hair and flash my endearing grin – and gratefully sign that toilet paper: “Darcy Perdu, Writer!”