Thursday, January 22, 2009

Step One

For as long as I can remember, I have written. I created elaborate illustrated storybooks when I was a kid, kept diaries all through my teens, wrote feature stories for the campus paper in college, and even got a graduate degree in journalism--not because I ever felt it would lead to a career as a writer, but simply because I love to string words together. It's as much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes or the sound of my voice. For me, writing is theraputic and joyful, both grounding and freeing. But it's also very much my secret pleasure, a thing that I love so much that I am almost afraid to share it. So I have spent the last thirteen years editing, taking quiet satisfaction in shaping the work that other writers do. I might tell you that I am an editor because I like to make books, but that fact is that I am an editor because I am afraid to try to be a writer. I don't want to fail at something that means so much to me. But recently I've come to the point in my life where failure isn't so scary--or maybe it's as scary, but not as frightening as the alternative: the life-long regret at never having tried. So a couple of months ago, I gathered the courage to write something with the specific intent of selling it. And, somehow, on my very first try, it sold. And today it was published on the delightful parenting website Babble.com. I hope you'll check it out. And then I hope you'll keep checking back here to find links to other features. Because I'm going to keep trying.

9 comments:

Melanie said...

I found your blog after reading your piece on Babble. I just wanted to tell you it's one of the most inspiring and real stories I've ever read there. I am pregnant with my second and living with the constant dread of how much worse life will be with another. My husband works downtown, I work from home, run the house and finances, and resent him constantly. Your writing doesn't necessarily offer a solution (we're already on the communication bandwagon) but it does reassure me that I'm not alone. And I love you writing style - you spoke right to me and I plowed through it quick as I could. Thank you. :-)

Shan said...

I cam here from Babble too. Congrats! I, too, am a lifelong writer, though I became a psychologist, and then a full-time at-home mom, instead. Now I write when I can, and, like you, have gotten a few things published. It's a great feeling, isn't it? I've been discouraged about it lately--can't seem to get the mojo necessary to make progress on a long-held dream of working on a book of essays--and this post is inspiring to me. Thank you!

Rebecca said...

i enjoyed reading your piece on babble, can't wait to read more of your blog.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I too came from babble and I'm shocked and delighted this is your debut. It was a great read and definitely left me wanting more.

jmk said...

You know, voices are on the of the things about people I tend to forget...I'm a visual person, so eyes and hair, etc., come back faster when remembering people. This entry and your babble article brought your voice back to me in an instant! So very, very Hanna. Love it!

Maureen (Stroud) Dillie said...

Ditto on Jen's comments, I can so hear your voice when you write. I hope that encourages you, you are great at it and very inspiring to many of us. And I think most of us are scared at something that others will see- something that exposes us. My only examples are my first day of teaching, and before the birth of a child, but man...those were frightening days. And as each subsequent day passed, I felt a little better about it. Please keep trying, I think it will work out for you, and maybe each article will be a little less frightening.

Jodi said...

Hi Hanna, Great blog! I found it through The Mama Bee. We went to UCR together. I am really glad to see you doing well. Congrats on getting published. Your article is great. Take care! Jodi (DeVore) Sloane

Anne said...

I too was amazed that the piece on Bable was your first, and I am so glad you wrote it. I work full-time while my husband stays home with our 1-year-old, and I identified completely with everything you wrote. And not just the working mom situation -- I share your love/fear relationship with writing as well. Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly!

Anonymous said...

Where are you Hanna? How can this be your last post. You wrote a story, got FANTASTIC feedback and...vanished. Now, I'm the only one of us who can do the disappearing act. I hope you see this and come back. My email is still the same, theladynancy1@yahoo.com, or nancywood05@yahoo.

Love you and miss you.