So I entered this community.
And I felt like I was home.
And, at the risk of sounding like a sentimental cheese-ball, I have never felt more myself than when I stood with this crowd of people who were so closely JUST.LIKE.I.WAS. and who allowed me to be wholly, without apology, one hundred percent, wearing my dreams on my sleeve, ME.
I was empowered and affirmed and felt like I was suddenly surrounded by a tribe of people who wished me every single success I have always wished for.
When I took my seat across from an honest-to-goodness literary agent (who happened to be an honest-to-goodness cowboy!) - after shaking his hand with a strong, non-sweaty grip, introducing myself like I owned who I was - I asked him my most pressing question: how can I make myself most appealing to an agent or publisher? "Well, Ma'am," he said, southern drawl warming up the air, his grey handlebar mustache hanging over his upper lip, hair flattened by the cowboy hat that rested politely beside him, "I must say, you've already made yourself quite attractive!" Of course, it went on from there into practicalities and realities and how to write a query that mattered but I spent the whole time marveling that I, socially handicapped little me, could actually make a good impression. "It's like a dance. It's like a marriage. If I like you and you like me, we're a match made in heaven and I'll work hard for you."
People were actually seeking me out to praise my work and encourage me into a successful future. One woman - a published author, thin fingers resting on my shoulder as we stood in a doorway, told me in a gentle voice how moved she was by the piece I read - how my truth had stirred her - how humbling is that???
My body aches after hours of sitting in classes and workshops, after hours of little activity beyond the frantic scribbling over page after page of notes, after little sleep and so much laughing. I believe I have started friendships that will span across years and provinces. I believe that I have purpose. I believe that it is not all for not.
I am a strong & confident woman.
I am a writer!
May my keyboard ever roar!