Monday morning, nestled into a table near a power outlet at Barnes and Noble. I’m doing my best impersonation of an obnoxious blogger.
You hear tell of coffee shops in LA, tables full of laptops, manned by cluttered customers that all but announce, “Look at me! I’m writing a screenplay! See all my notes? See my drawn brow? You are watching the creative process in action!”
Shamelessly, that’s me this morning. One chair is loaded with my leather messenger bag purse and quirky laptop bag, the ledge beside me is strewn with cell phone, data card holder, napkins, lipstick-rimmed decaf coffee (if I was truly committed to writing and not baby-growing, it would be full caffeine), and table unreasonably burdened by desktop-replacement-size laptop, wireless mouse, cream enameled roller ball, and brand new Moleskine reporter’s notebook (when did they come out with these? solves all my worldly problems!), suggestively opened to a page full of scribbled ideas.
To make matters worse, I applied a custom Snapfish laptop skin to my behemoth and well-loved HP directly before BlogHer, emblazoned with the banners and URL's from both Velveteen Mind and Blog Nosh Magazine. The better to recognize me with, my dear.
Of course, in the real real world, it just feels conspicuous. I’ve already been approached once by a young woman looking for her interviewer. Apparently, she is seeking a job with a company run by bedraggled pregnant chicks in jeans and ill-fitting nursing tanks who can’t be bothered to comb their hair but do diligently take the time to touch up yesterday’s makeup before kindergarten drop-off.
Good luck with that. I hear the pay is for crap but the corporate atmosphere is welcomingly laid back.
Sigh. Make that approached twice to see if I was conducting interviews today.
I came here because I needed to draw strength from my environment so that I may admit something to you. I needed to smell the bitter coffee, thumb the glossy magazines, and fully feel my stinging envy of the crisp books on the shelves.
Here goes nothing…
I want to write a book.
I already loathe myself for making that stereotypical turn, but there you have it. The simple, plain truth. Probably already plainly, simply apparent to you.
But admitting it will hold me accountable. You will hold me accountable.
Or not. At the very least, it will give all of those periodic Lijit sidebar searches for “book deal” a place to land. What are you people looking for, anyway? What have you heard? wink wink
I used to say that I want to write for magazines. I whispered that truth to you because I thought it would make me send query letters. I thought it would force to me hesitate over the publish button of stronger posts, rethink their place.
Instead, I just kept writing and secretly wondering when an editor or agent or publisher would discover me, bright and pink and sipping my fountain drink at the local pharmacy counter, and offer me that book deal no writer could refuse.
Was it because I refused the polka dot grosgrain festooned pigtails? Because I could never master simultaneously popping bubble gum and wrapping my cherry red lips around my straw?
I sit next to the postcard stand in the cafe, wanting to stack and stash the black and white images that should make up this writer’s life I envy so. Kurt Vonnegut sitting at a desk buried in ideas, set off by a background of so many books. So many books.
“Write a book” is a thought that falls so neatly into place in my threadbare mind. It makes sense. It feels real. I can touch the substance of it. I can feel its spine.
How I loathe clichés. Truly, madly, deeply.
Here goes nothing.
I want to write a book.
I need to interview this third lovely young woman that seems convinced that I’m not hearing her correctly. I’m fairly sure she’s going to sit down.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
*Title reference: Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform by Christina Katz. The idea being that authors should develop a platform before pursuing a book deal, therefore making marketing of your book more viable.
In my case, my platform would be writing a successful blog, founding and editing a respected literary magazine, twitter following of thousands, frequent speaking engagements at large conferences, etc. That's the "get known" bit.
(… A book which I have yet to buy or read, but mention at nearly every conference I speak at as though I know what I’m talking about. Strong titles, people, strong titles.)