I do. No, I don’t write it down because that’s minorly overwhelming, but I have big dreams, big plans, that can’t be accomplished in a day. These are life experiences I want to have that require planning, commitment, and most of the time help.
I wanted to camp in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Done. I wanted to live overseas. Done. I wanted to be a mom. Done. I wanted to bake a perfectly fluffy chocolate chip cookie. Also done.
And I always wanted to be published.
Here’s the thing: I am not a fiction writer. I can’t tell a story to save my life. I think there is a part of me that is too pragmatic. I also don’t have a large enough following to publish my own book of funny essays. Then to top it all off I had a very normal, happy childhood and haven’t had any traumatic experiences worth an Oprah Book Club selection. My odds of being published were doomed.
Then there is that whole thing of confidence. Self-confidence.
I labor over this little blog. Sometimes that’s hard because who in the heck is listening? Am I talented? Can I write? Do I have anything worth saying? I am not creative enough, crafty enough, emotional enough, moving enough, funny enough…and it goes on.
But then I got in a book.
The book is called HerStories and its lovely purple cover is now available to everyone. You can head to this link here to buy it. I hope you do. I am wildly in love with this book.
It is, and I quote…
…a book wherein 50 women writers paint real pictures of friendship; in addition to paying homage to the beauty and power of their relationships, they share the gritty details of bitter friendship breakups and uncomfortable life transitions. This anthology will enable readers to find their own stories in the words of others, cause them to reflect on their own unique friendship history, and perhaps even inspire them to rekindle connections with women who have shaped them. The authors of this book share their stories of friendship loss, enduring bonds from childhood, navigating the transition to motherhood, and renegotiating the role of friendship in their adult lives. The diverse essays in this collection will evoke tears, laughter, and a deep recognition and appreciation for the friends with whom women everywhere share their lives.
All of a sudden one of my bucket list items happened and I am in with a host of phenomenally talented company. Not to mention that Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy (who has to be the nicest Big Mama Blogger on the planet) provides the foreword. Life is good. Very good.
But here’s the confession: this essay came about based on a whim. I had just started blogging, I barely knew who Stephanie and Jessica were at the time, but they seemed cool. I like cool people. I have always wanted to be cool, too.
I responded to a general call they made soliciting essays. Then in typical Allison fashion I overextended myself, was beyond the deadline, and was feeling like I would never get to this. I was frustrated and stumped, inadequate and uninspired.
But one afternoon I heard a PING on my computer monitor. It was a GChat from my friend Kathy (the subject of my essay). In that instance I knew. I had it. I had IT. My essay.
That evening I sat down, banged it out, and sent it in. They liked it. They put it on the website and people responded to it, nicely. Which is a lesson for me to learn: writing from where your passion is is the root to success. Trash what you’ve heard about “successful blog topics.” Write from your heart. It’s more rewarding for you and some day someone will pay attention. It will be worth it.
I eventually got a note stating that they were going to compile everything in to a book, would I like to be included? I got tingly in my toes, girlishly squealy, and fist-bumped to the heavens (I am big on the fist-bump).
And I am so, so proud of it. Even now when I read it sure, there are tweaks I would make, there are things I would change, and I still have that self-doubt about whether it is a good essay, or, nay, a GREAT essay. But still. It’s there. In a book. A forever-type testament to the changing tones of friendships in this century, to how much Kathy will always mean to me, a look at how friends (moms) can always be connected even if we can’t ever talk, and the gift that gives us.
Plus my name is in print, right there with bloggers and writers who ooze talent from their fingertips. But don’t worry, they aren’t oozing all over that pretty new book I am in. They are too cool for that.
I really encourage you to buy this book. The essays run the range of sappy to funny to practical, but they are all relatable. This isn’t just for moms. It is for any woman who has experienced the ups and downs of friendship. It’s for all of us.