So there I was, just minding my own business in the comfy confines of Ozzie’s, a coffee shop on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. I was working on a piece I’d written on a scrap of paper a few days ago (http://bit.ly/2cMYKv), when a young woman stopped and asked me, “Are you a real writer?”
Her name was Michelle, an attractive yet somewhat disheveled twenty-something brunette. A few years ago I would have thought the she was hitting on me, but a subtle blend of maturity and reality keeps that from being my first conclusion these days. She was here to meet-up with a group of people to read and comment on each other’s writing. This was her first “Meet-Up” and she didn’t know who may be in her group.
“I’m forty-five minutes early,” she admitted, and went on about how she felt like she was on a blind date and seemed dubious about her compatriot’s motives. My motives were clear. I planned to sit here and bask in the glory of talking with a beautiful woman half my age for as long as she’d have me.
“Don’t you have name tags or a secret handshake?” I queried mustering my charm while trying not to seem too lecherous.
“This is my first time, so maybe they’ll show me!” She giggled, and then she effortlessly floored me with, “So what do you write for?”
Wow, two poignant questions in five minutes. I know she was expecting the name of a magazine or website, but the way she phrased the question, for me, was much more broad. In response I talked in platitudes about the love of writing, and the need for artistic expression. She seemed satisfied with that, and so the conversation continued until her group grew to become obvious. We exchanged email addresses to share our work, but as she joined her group, I was stuck with her question, “Am I a real writer?”
I knew I was not satisfied with the tepid answers I gave my new friend. I’d been working under the idea of “Audacity:” if one has the audacity to step up and tell the world he is a writer, then dammit, he is. It sounds good, there is even some truth to it, but it’s only a first step. Temerity gets you moving, but now what?
I don’t have an answer right now. There are a lot of “should do’s” and even quite a few “am doing’s,” but it’s time for the next step.
3 Comments February 6, 2010