Even though people told me I was accomplished writer, I never believed them until recently. I was on the Island of Kauai at a writer’s conference. Warm tropical air surrounded me as I pulled up a chair to meet with an agent. This was the first time I had ever done an author pitch. I put on a brave face although inside I was petrified.
The fifteen-minutes flew by. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a man waiting for his turn. I thanked the agent and threw out one last request, “Can I send you a proposal when it’s ready?”
“Sure, she said. I’ll take a look at it.”
As I walked away, I congratulated myself. That wasn’t so bad. I delivered all my lines just like I had rehearsed them. However, my initial confidence faded when a woman approached me looking worried and asked, “Are you okay?”
Was it that obvious? My face flushed with embarrassment. Shame and discomfort were written all over my face. Here I thought I looked confident and apparently, I looked as if I had just seen a ghost. My chorus of critical voices descended upon me. What a phony. She must have known I was faking it. I am never convinced I know what I am doing. Fortunately, I didn’t have any more agent meetings scheduled that afternoon.
After the conference I rented a car and drove up to the North Shore of Kauai, my favorite place to be. I rented a beautiful condo on the edge of a bluff. From the lanai all I could see was the ocean stretching into the distance. Entranced, I watched the sun rise and set. I was blessed one night with a full moon, which rose like a giant head light giant head light on the horizon, full and bright. I fell into a rhythm of proofing my memoir Finding Venerable Mother. For the next four days I walked around the living room pacing and reading the text out loud. When I wanted a break, I drove over to Tunnels beach, strapped on a snorkel and floated among the tropical fish parading by. Then I’d go back to proofing.
On day four a tiny miracle happened. I was reading the last two chapters and realized the writing moved me in a way I had never experienced before. I liked what I had written; it was deep and profound, magical even. Then it occurred to me. This is good. That’s the moment I knew I was a writer, and had a lot to say. It wasn’t a huge explosion, just a subtle awakening. Now when someone I meet asks me, what do you do? I answer them confidently. I am a writer and I just completed my first book.