Writer Therapy: I Need A Thing

Author Jodi Meadows posted a picture on Twitter of the socks she’s been knitting.  They were beautiful.  Don’t laugh! They were multi-colored and patterned with itty-bitty stitches.  The socks were truly incredible, and I told her so.  She responded and we started this back and forth about needing a “thing” outside of writing. 

Guys, I don’t have a thing.

I’m a pretty decent cook, and try new recipes all the time (one day we’ll explore my collection of homemade mac n’cheese recipes).  But I don’t cook because it’s my thing. I cook because if I don’t, three little people melt down.  And sometimes one big person does too.

I used to dance and love watching So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars.  But I don’t think watching tv is a worthy thing. 

I can’t sew. I’m a horrible crafter.  I clean my house like it’s an obsession (okay…it is an obsession, but not one I enjoy). 

I want a hobby that I can bring up in a dinner conversation, without having to launch into a long, sorry conversation about being an ‘unpublished writer.’ (I always add the caveat, “But I have an agent!”  Like that means something to anyone outside the publishing business.)

Okay…so I’m looking over this post and thinking to myself, “Becky, when do you have time to do another thing?”

I don’t know. 

And now I’m analyzing myself.  “Becky, you’re manifesting the desire to produce something that will impress others.  Something you can hold up and say, ‘This is my handiwork,’ and feel proud.” 

I am proud of my writing, but showing people a word document doesn’t have the same effect.

I want to hold up a book, a real dust-jacketed, professionally-edited book with my name splashed across the cover (maybe in glitter or gold foil or in a bright fuchsia font).

You guys want the same thing too. I know it! You wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t.

Trying to get published is my thing.  And when it happens (yes, when), then I will keep doing it and getting better at it and writing new, different stories.

Jodi Meadows isn’t going quit knitting just because she finished her socks.  Knitting is something she really enjoys doing.  Knitting is her thing.

Woah.  Moment of self-actualization:  If I was still a dancer, would I hop on the dinner table and do a pirouette?  (Teenage Becky would have, but I’m a grown-up now and a little more self-conscious).  No. But I’d talk about dancing and feel proud.  If I was a marathoner, would I hang my medals around my neck.  No.  They’d totally clash with my imaginary cocktail dress. 

Would I keep a copy of my book in my purse and bring it out to show off?  Or course not.  That’s ridiculous. 

It’s okay to talk about writing even if I’m not published yet.  I listen to people talk about dog training, and party planning, and hummus.

Writing can be my thing and I don’t have to be embarrassed about it.

Huh.  Only took a rambling blog post to figure that out.

Thanks for the therapy session, folks.  I obviously needed it.


4 Comments

  • Lexa Cain

    You’re welcome for the therapy session. Glad to help. Your bill for services rendered is in the mail.

    I LOVE “So You Think You Can Dance”!! It’s my favorite show. We’re about 2 seasons behind here, but a new season is starting tomorrow and I’m thrilled.

  • Jen

    Once you let them read the word document, then it’s totally more than a word document…then they’re like, holy crap, my friend becky wrote this amazing book that I couldn’t put down and she has an agent and she’s going to be published and she’s awesome. Besides, if you could craft, then you’d be better than me at my thing and then we couldn’t be friends. Glad you figured all that out on your own. Cause I really LOVE your word documents that will soon be hard back books and I’m glad it’s your thing 🙂

  • William Kendall

    For me my things are writing, photography, and mountain climbing. At least two of those items, I get strange looks from most people. Sometimes all three.

    In payment for the therapy, we’re all expecting copious amounts of chocolate.

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