The big news ’round this here parts has been the publication of my first two feature articles on Babble last week.
I’m thrilled with the fact that I can now call myself a real writer. And more experienced writers, correct me if I’m wrong here, but I feel like getting your first published article is like breaking the ice. That I needed one good name to my writing resume to be able to go even further. I have so many ideas of articles, especially now after working labor and delivery, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
So I’m excited that I started this journey; but in reading my articles on Babble, (something I may or may not be doing twice a day…) I was struck the most by the comments that people were writing. Sure, I get comments on here, but for the most part, they are people I know or are Facebook buds with. I appreciate each and every comment people leave, but there was something different when I read, from a total stranger:
“I’m in tears! Thank you for sharing. Our decision [to marry while pregnant] brings me the greatest moments of delight and happiness yet brings some of my most dark, insecure emotions. I’ve felt alone all this time. I’ve never met anyone who can understand and express the emotions I felt. I’ve never ran into another person who has stood where I stood. So thank you, thank you so much for being brave today and sharing. I’ve never told anyone how all of this has made me feel. I’m still scared but feel a little stronger since “meeting” you today and reading your honest words.”
And then of course, there was good ol’ Sylvia, who insisted on bashing me:
“When did women start latching onto this absurd notion that the man is somehow absent from the wedding except as the reason she gets to be a princess? It’s HIS wedding day, too.”
I know I’m bound to get hater comments, but Sylvia, if you had read to the next line of my essay, you would have seen that I said exactly that. But I mean, come on, what bride doesn’t want to feel pretty on her wedding day? I’m sorry, but there is validity to that notion that a wedding is about the bride. In fact, if you want to get technical about, the “absurd” notion that a wedding is all about the bride actually is historically true-what do you think weddings are? A historical custom for a woman to exchange hands between men. Where do you think the term “giving away the bride” came from? A wedding is about the bride, because that’s how weddings originated-a father giving away a bride to the man that he usually chose. Sorry Sylvia. [End of rant.]
But aside from my one hater comment, the comments were positive and were from women thanking me for giving voice to their feelings.
I realized, for the first time, that writing really can be a job, a job that can help people.
I’ve had so much anxiety and guilt about feeling that nursing is not really for me. After all, it’s such a worthwhile job, helping people, and now, bringing babies into the world. It’s the epitome of giving.
But when I read her words, it hit me that, as a writer, I can still help people. In all reality, I can help in more ways than I can even imagine, because you simply can’t measure the scope of words and how they affect people, over and over again.
Now, I have so much hope for the future.
I’m still finishing up my training in labor and delivery-I have six more weeks to go and then I’ll be taking my own patients. I’m scared to death, but I’m just trying to stay positive on the nursing front. I’m not letting myself think any farther than getting through training. Then we’ll see how I do.
But on the writing front, I am excited. I feel like I’ve made a breakthrough. More than breaking into that sacred world of “published author,” I feel like I have reached a point where I am beginning to accept myself as a writer. Believing that it can be a “real” job and more than that, a worthwhile job.
Of course, two articles on a website do not necessarily translate into a full-time job, so I’m focusing on the next steps on the writing front:
1) Getting an article published in a print magazine
2) Querying agents for Tiny Blue Lines: The Book. (If anyone knows of any agents who may be interested in a non-fiction book for college-aged women facing unplanned pregnancies, let me know!)