The first writing class I ever taught was a fifteen-week class at The University of Pittsburgh. I was nervous at the last session, as a result of not knowing how the students thought I had done. The authors I had been given the opportunity to work with for the last four months, lined up at the end of the final session to offer their goodbyes.
Since their course had been collectively forty-five hours in length spread over fifteen consecutive weeks, we had gotten to know each other quite well. As a result, each author shared a considerable amount with me about his/her experience on the way out.
All was going well until the fifth person in line stepped forward to say his good-bye. He was a middle-aged man. From what he had expressed to me, he wanted to author a book worse than anyone else in the class. He had performed marvelously and had several literary agents interested in representing his first book to publishers.
“Thank you for all you’ve done. You’ve changed my life,” he said reaching for my right hand while making appreciative eye contact. I started to say something in response, unaware that he wasn’t quite finished with his initial comment and accidentally cut him off as a result.
“You’re quite…,” I blurted out before he overrode me with the continuation of his initial comment. “And I will never write again,” he said with the conclusion of his initial statement.
As I am sure you can imagine, I was totally taken aback by what he had shared. For this man, in my opinion, was easily the most devoted of would-be authors in my class. He had an array of worldly literary agents dying to represent his first book but he was quitting.
When I questioned his giving up as an author, he calmly conveyed to me that because of his addiction to the reading of books he was sure that he was destined to be a writer of them as well. But when given the opportunity that my class offered, not only to write a book, but to also get it published, he quickly realized that he didn’t possess what it was, from his viewpoint, that one needed to become an author.
He came to a realization that he was a reader and not a writer of books. And he could more than live with that conclusion. But he needed a class like the one I offered along with the opportunities it provided, to see that for himself.
How about you? Have you been carrying along with you a dream that doesn’t belong to you? Would you be better off without it or are you ready to start making a plan to live it?
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
There is still plenty of time to get your book written and potentially published by the end of the year, and a plethora of options exist for you to get this accomplished.
I would love to help make this happen for you.