Today, eyes closed, in the black silence of my morning meditation, my destiny was established. I am officially a writer. But it was something I could have known twenty-nine years earlier. The day my then-boyfriend, now an award-winning author, ticked-off Nikki Giovanni. In response, she then uttered eight words that ticked him off, and probably catapulted him into creative prolificacy.
Cigarette smoke wafting through her tiny afro, Professor Giovani announced it.
“Your girlfriend is a better writer than you.”
Professor Giovanni was talking about me. My one regret is that, when my then boyfriend shared the story, I didn’t understand what it all meant. Had I understood, I would have asked her more questions, written more, taken more writing classes. According to her, I was a better writer than a future bestselling author who spent his formative years determined to make his fortune writing books. But I did nothing about it.
As a child, Ramona Quimby and Encyclopedia Brown were my besties. There were also the forbidden books of Judy Blume. But all of that faded once high school mandated the reading of thick hardback text. There was no more pleasure to be had in the typed pages. I bored of books and knew little of writing, beyond an occasional poem or improvised Broadway belted tune. But my then boyfriend had books in his DNA. His father was a writer and book publisher, so he grew up loving books. When he had no money for food, he still bought books. They were his treasure. For me, books were things you turned in for cash at the end of the semester to buy Doritos and licorice after leaving the dining hall.
Then it happened. I sat in bed, waiting for the 30-minute timer to signal the end of my morning meditation. A mockingbird announced breakfast, the faint churn of morning traffic wafted over the sound wall, and the air conditioner thumped on. Eyes closed, I waited for something. Or nothing. Then, right before the timer chimed, I heard it.
You are a writer.
That was it. The words came as if spoken into my heart by God Almighty Himself. I opened my eyes to make sure no one was in the room.
I crawled out of bed and sat at my computer, staring at the screen.
Now what? Then it came.
This moment demands a poster.
I placed a sheet of the only cardstock available, watermelon pink. Hands on keyboard, I opened a blank PowerPoint slide. In jay-bird blue, 183-point Cinzel font letters, I printed one word.
Then I taped the sign to my door.
What have you not given yourself permission to do?
What can you do this week to take a step toward going ALL-IN?