I’ve read 3 books on writing in as many weeks. I feel like a high school student again, carrying my text books from here to there. Only this time I’m enjoying it, reveling in it. The current read becomes my constant companion. I’ve learned to take it with me even when I don’t think I’ll have time to read because there may be ten minutes of wait time somewhere in my day when I can open those crisp pages and soak up the information.
The only problem – I don’t want my coworkers to see the books. The Elements of Style could just be my attempt to learn to write more professionally so that one didn’t need concealed. On Writing was a little trickier. If seen and asked about, maybe I could have said “It’s just a memoir by Stephen King”, but that wouldn’t be doing it justice at all. His words are still echoing in my head.
“Write honestly. Write a lot. Read a lot. Write with the door closed. Write what you know. Write honestly. Write honestly. Write what you know.”
I couldn’t reduce it to just a memoir. So that one I would tuck under my arm when leaving the building and hope I didn’t see anyone who would actually ask what I’m reading.
Bird by Bird isn’t quite so obviously about writing based on the cover. Except the small red square on the bottom, the front cover does not mention writing. I could have that out on my desk and only cover the bottom fifth of the book. But again, the dilemma arises of whether I should reduce it to just a book about life since the parts about writing are what I’m really after.
Last night I picked up a new volume and this one is not so subtle. I fought the urge to wrap my newly library-borrowed 2016 edition of Writer’s Market in a brown paper bag like I used to my school books. This monster of a book screams “I want to be a writer!”. This is one I will only pull out when I know I won’t see someone from work. It’s the one I may carry in my backpack, but that won’t get pulled out unless I know for sure I am alone at my desk, not to be bothered.
Don’t take this as me being ashamed of my desire to write well and to be published. It’s quite the opposite. I want writing to be my full-time gig and everyone in my personal life is free to invade the bubble I’ve kept my writing self in for almost my entire life. Anyone in my personal life. My boss is an odd ball and I don’t want the questions and guilt-trips that will inevitably spill from his mouth if he finds out I don’t plan on living out my days in the sacred IT world, specifically his sacred company and department. Everyone in my office is such a blabbermouth that I don’t want to risk him finding out from one of them either.
Writing is such a personal part of my life. For the most part, I’d like to think I’ve already been heeding Mr. King’s words of writing honestly. With that honesty and openness comes the parts of me that work is never allowed to see. Work is work and my personal life is my personal life. Sometimes they mix, but for the most part, they keep their distance from each other. The best analogy I can come up with this early in the morning is that work gets to see my face, my personal life (and those involved) get to see my heart and my brain. My face sometimes gives away what I’m thinking and feeling, that can’t be helped. In general, however, even my facial expressions are only a fuzzy reflection of what’s really going on in my head and my heart. I feel this doesn’t make complete sense, but that could just be because I am still trying to wake up.
At any rate – the title of this post is Pinky Swear You Won’t Tell because, as my faithful readers, I want you to swear you won’t tell. Swear you and I will keep this confidence until I have finished school, worked out the time I need to be there (because they are paying for said school), and until I can finally publish something. Swear to stay my confidential therapist, my lawyer, my doctor, until such time as I’m ready to reveal my beautiful secret.