As a stay-at-home mom, I often get the question, "What do you do all day?" I know I should feel irked by this question, especially when I get it from other SAHMs ... because shouldn't they know how much of my time is consumed by reading Blue Hat, Green Hat, clipping baby toenails, and cleaning the poop-covered Bumbo out in the shower?
Here's how I'd like to answer the question they're really asking (what do you besides mom and housewife stuff?): I love writing, and I'm working on a novel that I hope to get published.
But I don't say that. Why not?
Because I'm ashamed. How dare I presume that I, lowly Kimber, could ever be a writer? At least that's what I feel like they'll think when I admit I'm writing a book/manuscript/novel/story/historical fiction.
Until sometime in high school, perhaps around the time my junior English teacher sucked the love of literature from me like a Dyson, I was proud to announce that I wanted to be a writer. What changed? Why is it now uncomfortable for me to admit that I love writing and think I could have a shot at it?
Is it a sense of false humility? Is it because it's really hard to get published that I feel afraid to admit I'm going to try? Because I've successfully accomplished a lot of other really hard things and never had trouble talking about those goals while in the process of working toward them.
I don't like pretending that being an author isn't a huge dream of mine; it kind of feels like pretending I don't have a right leg. I want to overcome the taboo of confessing my love for writing. But I feel like I have to have something really concrete to claim before I do. Not just a finished thesis with some positive feedback of "I really think you could get this published," ... I want a finished novel, with an agent, with a publisher, with a measly little wonderful advance, and a non-stupid cover to put on the book.