I’m writing all the time, my fingers on the keyboard like a runner’s feet on the treadmill. I’ve been in Maine as sole proprietor of Word Sharpener for nearly six years and I’m the victim of my own success. Sure it started slow. But then the gale-wind force of my past life grabbed those sails and I soared across, well, at least a body of water as large as my own Sampson’s Cove. I’ve developed a roster of clients that closely resembles my Washington life.
But heck, I live in Maine now. And I finally finished my long tome on rock politics, a memoir but also an interesting slice of the late seventies in Manhattan. Eighty thousand words. I poured my guts out, exploring so many things about my life, and life in general. I kept journals and letters from the period, and writing this book allowed me to relive my past. I pushed present day aside to walk through the streets of Manhattan with people that I miss a lot. I revived the moment the Rolling Stone magazine moved from San Francisco to New York. Those five nights in Madison Square Garden of NO NUKES when Springsteen first played songs from his album, The River. I even explored why my charming handsome brother Robert took his own life. I came to grips with my past, but did so in a volume that is every bit as funny as it is poignant, and personal.
Now the hard part. It’s sitting with a book doctor and I’m awaiting a prognosis.
I have to become an author again. Six years is a long time to publish in other people’s names, even those as haughty as Barack Obama. I just called the Maine Publishers and Writers Association to rejoin. I’d let my membership lapse since they didn’t really have a category for economic and policy writers. Joshua, the wonderful executive director there, talked to me for far longer than one should with a simple renewal. I guess he heard it in my voice: I’m a writer rediscovering that she is a writer.
There’s this very hard part to being a writer. The waiting, wondering, what will the verdict be on this book that I’ve allowed to ooze out of my long-ago psyche. Should I be pitching articles to magazines? Or should I just drink martinis by the fire and hope for the best?