Blending

February 27, 2012 at 11:41 AMKatie McGarry

Book I'm currently reading: Beta read for a friend

This morning's running conditions: 41 degrees and partly cloudy

Song I placed on repeat while running: R. Kelly World's Greatest  

Why I love the song: Both my boys sang this when they graduated from kindergarten and it made me cry both times. It's a reminder that I'm more than a writer.

The lyrics: If anybody asks you who I am Just stand up tall look 'em in the Face and say... And I'm that little bit of hope When my back's against the ropes

 

This morning on YA Fusion, Heather Smith Meloche discusses using your e-mail signature as a means of promotion. It’s a fabulous article, but what really struck me is when she talked about compartmentalizing her life. For instance, her writing life used to stay separate from the rest of her life.

This article hit home for me. Before I became contracted, I too compartmentalized my life. I’m the PTA, gymnastics, tai kwon do, volunteer at school, church going, cookie chair. I’m the friend, the sister, the daughter, the daughter-in-law. I’m the runner, the music and reality TV lover. I’m the writer, the contest judge, the RWA volunteer.

At home, the place I love the most, I’m a wife and mom.

I kept it all separate until one day my life changed. I accepted a contract from Harlequin Teen. Suddenly all my worlds collided and it scared the hell out of me. I’ve had almost a year and a half to adjust and I’ll admit it can still freak me out.

I like being me—Katie. Plain old simple Katie. I liked my life compartmentalized and for awhile, I thought I could keep it that way. But then word started to spread: Katie’s a writer and she sold a book. She’s going to be a published author.

The first time someone at church or at my children’s school stopped and congratulated me, I’ll admit, I became paralyzed. My face flushed red, my hands shook, and I think all I could mumble was a pretty pathetic, “Thanks.”

“What’s your book about?” they’d ask.

I’d stare at them blankly. My mind wasn’t on writing. It was on getting my children to Sunday school or on redecorating my children’s teacher’s bulletin boards. It would take me a second to remember—Oh yeah, I’m a writer too.

Once I started to get my head wrapped around the concept that all the boxes of myself had been opened, this awesome thing happened. Everything started to combine to become this beautiful rainbow.

My children’s school asked me to come speak to their classes about being an author. I went from A,N, & P’s Mom to Ms. McGarry, the author. My sister-in-law asked me to come speak to her groups of teenagers and for the first time I stood as a stranger in front of fourteen year olds and explained that if anyone works hard enough their dreams could come true.

I’ve shared booklists with countless other people from church and school—people I had no idea loved reading until now. I’ve counseled other secret writers on how to start their journey towards publication.

I know I’m not the only writer who has ever felt this fear of revealing this part of themselves to the world. But I’m here telling you, go ahead, try it. You’ll be surprised how supportive the rest of the world can be.

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Comments (1) -

I love the rainbow analogy Bc I think as mom's, no matter what the profession is, we wear so many different hats in just one day that many times we have to wear a few hats at the same time....it is a matter of finding that beautiful balance as you find that beautiful balance of floors in a rainbow~

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