Even though I wrote little stories as a child, and more evolved ones through elementary school, even though I was editor of my high school magazine, and college literary society where I won awards for writing, even though I read books voraciously, even though I kept diaries, even though I wrote many short stories as a young adult, it never entered my mind that I could be a “writer.”
Because I was a product of my generation. Girls became wives and mothers. First and foremost. Then if you had to work, or even wanted to work, I assumed you had only these choices. Teacher. Librarian. Secretary. Nurse. Receptionist. Beautician. Saleslady. All of them low-paying jobs, of course. Women didn’t deserve to have salaries equal to men.
Wait, I left out models and actresses. But then, again, there was a moral price to be paid for those jobs. Your basic “nice girl” didn’t think along those lines as being real goals.
(I once had a summer job modeling. Highly overated and definitely not glamorous.)
Sure, I read women who wrote. But they were icons to me. Creatures from a faraway imagined world. My mind could not envision myself on that hallowed ground. Heaven knows I read every book I could find written by women.
I wrote. I liked to write. All I wanted to do was write. My hobby. I should have made the connection.
So I became a school teacher. No, not even an English teacher. I taught third and fourth grade kiddies. But I sure did specialize in teaching those kids how to read and write.
Hello? Not getting the message yet.
Finally, after college, wanting to try something new instead of teaching, I answered an ad for a job on a small town newspaper. Where I not only got to write articles and movie and play reviews, a wild idea was brewing inside my fevered brain. I liked this. I loved this. This writing thing…
Timidly I mailed out short stories to publishers. Sold two. But, still being a man’s world, I was advised not to let them know I was a woman, so I used my initials.
Since, because then living in LA, Home of Hollywood, I made my big jump.
At age 33, I sold my first script to television. And never looked back.
Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am… a writer