Today’s guest blogger is Doreen McGettigan, a terrific lady and writer who has been a tremendous supporter of this blog. I, too, remember the day I dropped my youngest child at nursery school and had one hour, just one hour, to myself and fantasized about all the glorious things I would do — write, daydream — with all three of my kids in school. But the time flew, as it tends to do, and I barely made it out of the parking lot before I had to go back and pick him up. :)
I have been a ‘writer’ for years. I started covering school board meetings and counsel meetings in my small town for the small town’s small newspaper. I spent hours on each piece making sure I did not miss a word – or, the most embarrassing of all, I would just die if I misquoted anyone.
I realize those were the days when I was learning my craft, preparing for my dream of writing fiction. I wanted to write books, but I had to be patient. I had to do my time.
When my youngest child, Jillian, was close to kindergarten I thought, This is my time. I could finish my novel. I should have been thrilled. The truth is I was a mess. I did not want to give my baby to the world. I wanted to keep her with me.
The big day finally came. I put Jillian’s shoes on, and she took them off, repeatedly. “You can play with the other kids if we hurry,” I told her. She wanted me to carry her. I told her she needed to walk, and she cried.
Here we go, I thought, this child is going to grab my leg and scream. Jillian looked up at me and said, “Bye, bye, Mommy.” She gave me a quick wave as she hurried through the door. I was stunned. I stood there expecting the teacher to say, “Take your child home. She is not ready for school.” By the time I was home, I was sobbing. I was not ready to let go.
Of course, we all adjusted, and Jillian is now the awesome mommy of her own three little princesses. Life happened, and I never did finish that novel. I did, however, write a non-fiction book and was compelled to finish. It is the true story of the random road rage murder of my brother. The book exposes a justice system that worked on ego rather than law. The book is in production. I should be happy, right. Any day the Federal Express person will deliver my book. I will be able to hold it in my hands. Why am I crying all the time?
My brother would have been thrilled for me. I know that is a fact. There will be a big party. Am I afraid of the attention? What if I have no talent, like those kids on American Idol whose parents tell them they are great and they suck?
Is it normal for first time authors to feel this way? This book is full of my deepest, darkest feelings. It is full of blood, sweat and tears. It is my story. I am not ready to let go. But I must.
Did I mention I want to write fiction?