By Judy Miller
I had a dream last year. I dreamt of my eighth grade English project, where I created, wrote and edited my very first, and only, magazine. Long forgotten, but planted deep within the frazzled brain cells of motherhood, the memory was triggered by something during my day. I remember how proud I was and how I had thrown myself into it. Nothing had been left out; opinion pieces, expert columnists, fashion, sports, cartoons, crafts, cooking, and pet care were just some of the many topics covered. “A+++”, in red marker, was placed on the inside cover across from the publication credits, along with a paragraph from my teacher. The grade and kudos were great, but they paled in comparison to the charge I received from creating the work.
The dream went on and I was in the interview with my high school’s newspaper staff. I was asked if I could interview anyone, who it would be. My answer was God because I had so many questions for her. There was utter silence; I believe I scared the majority, if not all of the students and teacher sponsors in the room. The position went to another “more qualified” student. I wonder what would have happened if it had been me.
A lot of time has passed, since these events took place. I finished college, grad school, got married and became a mom to a busy bunch of kids. But, the “What if?” kept niggling within me…and it grew and GREW. “What if?” became “What’s keeping me from doing this?” The resounding answer was “Nothing.”
Feeling nervous and giddy and SO excited about the possibility, I committed to writing in January with the purchase of Writer Mama and enrolling in Christina’s class Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff. I went on to take three other classes with Christina and one with Abby Green. I was gently encouraged to dig deep, stretch and learn the craft while growing as a writer.
2008 has been a year of bringing my brain out of hibernation and finding time to be a productive and creative writer while raising my brood of four.
I’ve come away with:
To trust that I have chosen the right path for me.
To express myself
To approach other writers with questions and help.
To put myself out there, vulnerable to criticism and rejection
For the networking I have been encouraged to establish and grow
For my emerging platform
For mentors and friendships
For personal and writing challenges, providing me with introspection, analysis and growth
To write every day
To seek balance
That encouragement and support garners friendships and helps all writers
I became a writer this year. I’m just at the beginning of my journey, but I can’t wait to see where I’m going.
I’d still like to interview God.
Judy Miller is an Indiana-based writer and mother to four gregarious kids. She has written for parenting magazines and has a story coming out in the anthology, A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (June, 2009). She blogs about parenting her diverse group of kids at: http://theinternationalmom.wordpress.com/