Sometimes I can look at my life and see signs directing me to a certain path. For example, when I received my student teaching assignment, I sobbed. I was assigned to teach Journalism, Newspaper, and one English class. One! I had spent several years so focused on how I would teach writing and literature, and here I was, my talent being wasted on the Communicative Arts classes.
That assignment changed the entire trajectory of my career–for the better. Think of all the things I would not have done the past ten years had I not received that particular student teaching assignment: advised a newspaper of my own, written a media literacy curriculum, earned a degree in Popular Culture, and advising another newspaper starting this fall. Each of these experiences changed me in ways I still discover each year.
And it’s not like I need signs pointing me to every major life decision, but I do like to pay attention to what the universe tries to tell me. Which is why, today, when the fabulous Mr. Stueve yet again made his case for why I should write a book, I chewed on his words the rest of the day.
What’s stopping me? He’s not the first person to suggest I should write a book, but he is the first soon-to-be-published author who has suggested it. Well, much like the big decisions we make in life, fear is stopping me. And as a writer, I have plenty of self-doubt. Even though I teach writing for a living and encourage my students to take risks, I clearly do not practice what I preach.
So I’m going to try.
It’s going to be ugly. I shall accept this as fact and move on and write anyway, and I will read Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott (who I’d really just like to be when I grow up) when I get discouraged.
Which will likely happen after I write one paragraph.
And I will let the illustrious Mr. Stueve read my work, and possibly our good friend Mr. Sullivan, who is nearing completion of his MFA in Creative Writing. And I will not cry in front of them when they tell me I lack focus and am bogged down in irrelevant details.
I will cry at home instead.
It may not go anywhere, but I’m going to try. The universe is telling me I at least owe that much.