by Martha Reed
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going to a book launch party for my friend Nancy Martin who came out with her fiftieth book. That’s right, 50. When I looked around the bookshop at the party I saw six other published authors in attendance, all of whom I admire and one of which was nominated for a national award last year for her book. Now, that’s some pretty heavy talent standing around eating cake and it shocked me when I realized that this was my peer group. Granted, I don’t have a book contract (yet) but I’m certainly working at it hard enough and that made me wonder what more I could be doing to ‘live the life’.
So this morning, over coffee, I sat down and tried to imagine what it would be like to actually get a book contract and how that would impact my life. Would I give up my day job? Could I afford to? I’ve been building my corporate career for over thirty years – would I want to keep my hand in it and work part time? Could I juggle two jobs? If I could afford to leave my day job, would I stay in Pittsburgh? If I could afford to live anywhere I wanted to, where would it be? Do I have the nerve to move there and start over?
The other question I considered was my identity as a writer. I know that is what I am. I’ve known it since I was eight years old. I’ve had three short stories published but I’m still working on the break through novel and it has been going on for fifteen years. Last week I met some friends of my mother and when I introduced myself as Irene’s daughter, they asked: Are you the donut one? No, that’s my sister Joan. Oh, you must be the real estate daughter? No, that’s Boo. I’m the writer daughter. Which opened a whole can of worms: What have you written? And I found it odd and funny to explain that yes, I am a writer but no, I don’t have any books available that you can actually read.
How about you? What are your plans for your writing life? How do you define yourself as ‘a writer’? Please post your answers. Inquiring minds want to know.