Tell The Story Until It Comes True

All of my life I've wanted to write books. Since I was three-years old. It was what I did. It was the only thing that made me feel worth something. Writing is what always defined me. My pulse depended on the words that became sentences that became stories that became my life. My dolls were my characters. My imaginary friends were heroes and heroines, villains as well.

I have always been a writer, even before I was publishing my angst-ridden poetry on the notorious pages of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I was always a memoirist, even before I was blogging at The (now defunct) Pointy Toe Shoe Factory and now, here at GGC. I have stacks of diaries in my closet, under my shoes. In wooden boxes that say "do not open," my secrets are bound tight with shoelaces and rubber-bands.

I have written two novels. One book of short stories and thousands of pages of prose. I write every day because I have no choice. Writing has kept me sane. Balanced. Up at night, scribbling notes and posting them on the floor beside my bedstand. So I don't forget a line or an idea or a phrase come morning. So my brain doesn't melt in my sleep and leave me thoughtless. So I can remember to use it. Somehow.

Always a pen and paper in my pocket. Always listening in on conversations. Reading people. Judging people. Trying to understand who they are. And who I am as the spectator. The eavesdropper. The spy.

I based the two main characters of my finished novel, "The Envelope" on the man who played guitar on Hollywood Blvd and the woman who danced across the floorboards of my dreams. I set five pages a day as my goal, until I finished a first draft. And a second. And a third...

Then I got pregnant. And the pages fell to the floor and I left them there for several days before I knew what I was going to do. About my pregnancy. About my book. About writing every day and whether I would have the time or the inspiration, because I knew that my days of spending hours on subways spying on strangers, were over. I knew that I could not be a spy or a novelist with a baby. I didn't even know how I would write. Or what about:

"When I found out I was pregnant, I had a choice to make. Start a family or focus on my career. Then I decided I would do both. Or at least, try. Because I didn't want to give anything up. Because I was convinced I didn't have to. Because why should I? Because I was in love with Archer long before he had a name and a face and fingers. Because there was nothing that could stop me from doing what I wanted to do my whole life. Something I believed I could do."

So I picked the pages off the floor and got back to work. And I told myself that I would have to finish before Archer was born. But I never did. Not until months ago when I turned in my final draft, and immediately started work on a new novel.

I didn't sell The Envelope. But that doesn't mean I won't someday. I believe in the story and the work and my characters, who I fell in love with as I wrote them. With all of my heart I believe. And I think someday, someone else will, too.

But clearly it is not their time. And yet, it has suddenly become mine.

All these months of writing about Archer and our adventures has lead to this: My first book deal, with the awesome ladies at Seal Press. My adventures with Archer in print, bound up tidily as a tangible object. With pages you can stain and tear and dog-ear when you can't find your bookmark.

The book will be much like this blog. My first two years as a mother. In Los Angeles. Without rules or regulations or books telling me how to do or what way to do it. Balancing dreams with the reality. Telling the story. The whole truth. Pimples and puke and all.

The truth is, no matter what I am writing about, I have found my muse in Archer. The way he looks at the world. And me. I am a better person because of him. I am better writer because of him. I am more complicated and confused and interested and interesting because of him:

"I am not and never will be defined by motherhood, but I will wholeheartedly admit that motherhood has inspired and enabled me to define myself."

And all of the people that thought I was making the wrong decision, sacrificing my career to be a mother. All of the people who have been told they cannot do both. All of the dreamers who stay faithful to their realities, I have this to say:

It's all bullshit. Believe in proving everyone wrong. Believe in yourself. In your story. Keeping a dream journal beside your bed so you can wake up, read the pages and go on and make them come true.

GGC

68 comments:

Scarlett | 11:52 PM

Go Becca! It'll be amazing. Love you! I'm jumping for you!!

jchevais | 3:24 AM

I read somewhere that if you don't give up, whatever it is that will happen, will. And it's always wonderful.

The only rule is that you have to keep working: You Just Can't Give Up.

I am sooooo pleased for you! Hooray!

metro mama | 5:21 AM

Congratulations, that's amazing!

Chelsea | 5:40 AM

Yee-Haa! Congrats girl- glad to hear all that obsessive-compulsive behavior is paying off! ;-)

May all your dreams come true in such a fashion.

Wendy | 6:05 AM

So freakin proud of you woman - You are what I aspire to - that seemingly natural way you balance everything with grace, humor and beautiful language - I cannot WAIT to buy your book!!!!!!

Shelli | 6:11 AM

Congratulations! You must be over the moon!

Brianna | 6:39 AM

Sweet! I'm always raving about your writing...now I can just hand someone a book rather than sending links all the time... : )
Congrats!

Chag | 6:58 AM

Congratulations! You are a very talented and engaging writer and definitely deserve to have your work in front of more eyeballs. I might even watch Oprah the day you're on the show!

Aline | 7:01 AM

This must be the exciting news you eluded to! How wonderful. Hopefully it will be available in Canada cuz I will definitely be buying a copy!!

Cheers to you and your family. This is an exciting opportunity and I'm sure it's just one of many on the horizon!

Leigh C. | 7:23 AM

Mazel tov, honey. This is grrrreat.

8-)

Erin | 7:46 AM

Congratulations!

Sal Glynn | 7:50 AM

Golly! A real book! Mind you, I would have told your editor first about the final signing of the contract. This does keep whoever on their toes and reading your blog site. Major congrats to you and your marvelous agent. The book will be a stunner, no hyperbole.

Andrea | 7:53 AM

You ROCK girl! I'm so excited for you, and so excited to read it! Of course, I want the copies I buy to be signed, so after it comes out, look for a package from me in the mail with return postage and a sharpie!

This could not have happened to a more deserving writer. Seriously.

Emily | 8:46 AM

Fantastic news! I had a hint this day was comming. You will do great, and I can not wait to dog ear my copy. Congrats!

Bringing Up Ben | 8:52 AM

YAAAAAAAY!
Congrats! That is amazing...and yet, not at all surprising. You rock!

Andy | 9:08 AM

CONGRATS!!!! What fantastic news, I'm so happy for your!

Rachel | 9:17 AM

Congratulations, Rebecca! I can't wait to read you in print as well as online.

Kendra | 9:50 AM

HIGH FIVE and a WOO HOO! To the GGC.....Congratulations!

bitty | 9:51 AM

again, well, well deserved ms thing! muchos kudos to you!

ps. cards are on their way, soon, promise.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:13 AM

Thank you to all! Really, really a lot.

Dad Gone Mad | 10:20 AM

I just plotzed.

Cat | 10:26 AM

Congrats Becca! I'm so glad to hear someone besides the interLurkers will be able to laugh with you!

Cat

mfk | 10:37 AM

hurray!! congratulations :) considering that I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and have already read through ALL the archives, and am now a huge fan, I think your book will do fabulously.

MrsFortune | 11:30 AM

Oh YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! And no, I'm not calling my greek grandmother, I am just SO EFFING excited for you lady. That's the best news I've heard in a long while. Love you.

PunditMom | 11:37 AM

I can't WAIT to read it! It will be great! Congratulations!

I will follow your words to my own dream!

Mom101 | 11:47 AM

I am delighted you made the announcement. Huge hoorahs from all corners of the real and virtual world!

I know what you mean about finding your muse. I have the internet dating screenplay, unfinished in the closet, needing a fourth rewrite. It just seems so...not me anymore. Onto bigger and better. For both of us.

Shannon | 12:06 PM

Congrats to you! You so deserve it!

In the Trenches of Mommyhood | 12:22 PM

As an admirer of your writing style and avid reader (yes, I'm usually a lurker) of your blog, I say, AWESOME FOR YOU. Count me in as a fan!

tallgirl | 12:27 PM

When will the book be out?

I think we can have it all. It just depends on what we want.

Congrats to you, and congrats to Archer. Not every little boy gets a mom who makes it to the big time.

L.A. Daddy | 3:33 PM

Congrats to you! Hard work always pays off, just never the way you expect it to.

Keep it up and I look forward to the finished product!

reluctant housewife | 3:57 PM

Yay! The news is out! I'm so happy for you - you're a fearless writer and deserve all the success in the world.

I hope you sign my copy when the book is out...

Anonymous | 4:53 PM

she's all grows up, folks. so proud, bec. you of all people deserve stories that become true because you tell them.
xodt

MotherBumper | 5:38 PM

To have a muse like Archer is a dream. What good sense Seal Press has shown. Congratulations GGC, prove 'em all wrong.

Anonymous | 6:48 PM

Congratulations, I will be buying the book the day it comes out.

Anonymous | 7:52 PM

As a mother of an 18 month old little boy from the deep south, a Republican (gasp), and a Christian we couldn't be more different but as I read your blog daily, I laugh as I realize we have more in common then you would ever want to admit. I love reading your blog, your thoughts (that I can't seem to express as beautifully as you) and I find myself wanting to read more. I hope you find success with your book. If it's anything like your blog it will be amazing! Best of luck
I love the bond that brings mothers together, realizing that we are all truly the same, despite our differences.

Mrs. Davis | 8:35 PM

Woohoo!! Congratulations!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:54 AM

THANK YOU ALL!

Mrs. Q | 6:53 AM

Yeehaw, momma. Can't wait to pop that sucker on my nightstand. I'm quite certain it will be a much better read than 'What to Expect: The Toddler Years."

something blue | 8:10 AM

Gasp! My heart is beating fast because I'm so very thrilled for you.

I can't wait to hold your words and carry them around with me. I won't stain, tear or dog-ear the pages because I think books are more precious than gold.

Nancy | 9:16 AM

Just read about this from BMC. Congratulations, Rebecca!

selzach | 9:59 AM

Congratulations!

As someone who's not a writer (writing doesn't come easily for me), I'm in awe of people like you. You have an amazing art/skill/ability and you deserve to be published!

Jaelithe | 10:38 AM

AWESOME!

merseydotes | 10:55 AM

Congratulations! Another blogger hitting the big time of a publishing house and an ISBN. We're all so proud!

Student Nurse Jack | 10:55 AM

BMC's been a fan of your writing for so long. I know she recognizes sharp talent when she sees it. Congratulations to you. Enjoy the moment before the madness rushes in again.

Emery Jo | 11:35 AM

holy crap-oly I'm so excited right now.

Those up-and-coming mommas are going to be so lucky to have access to your writing like that. I know you will help them feel less alone and more confident in their abilities as moms and (heck!) as human beings.

Beth | 11:58 AM

I love it. I love love love it.

Bloggers getting book deals - It's fab isn't it - finally we the public can vote with our time by reading blogs we love & fingers crossed these bloggers will get rewarded.

Fabulous Becca! Hurrah!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:52 PM

THANK YOU!

Anonymous | 8:48 PM

I would like to be your friend. And I will definitely buy your book...even though I'm saving my money to buy a house for my own two babies. Thank you for writing.

jess | 9:45 PM

congratulations! that is really exciting!

as someone who has read your blog i can say you are an excellent and superb writer who is really fun to read.

as someone who has always been a photographer i can say i understand how fulfilling it is to be hired/published/recognized/vindicated in your lifelong dream

look forward to the book!

Daddy & Archer! | 11:16 PM

We are so proud of you! We can't to see how cool you make us seem to the rest of the world. We will always be in your crib.

Love,

Big Boy & Little Man

Lilli | 12:33 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!! It's about damn time! You so deserve it! I can't wait to read your new, soon-to-be-published book. SO excited!

On another note... The Envelope is, and will continue to be, the greatest novel ever written. Don't give up on it because it is a future best seller... I am positive.

Love you much!

Anonymous | 1:19 AM

congratulations doesn't even begin to say what i want to say to you. go you, it's your birthday, have a party, write boo-ook... ~jjlibra

New Mama's Nest | 9:19 PM

Congrats!

Stefanie | 9:24 PM

Seal Press is great! I'm so proud of you. You are a talented, profound, dreamy, funny...great writer. Congrats. If you have any questions or need advice call me anytime.

Whit | 2:04 AM

Nice going!

I met you yesterday at Pollack's reading and thought I would drop in for a spell. Don't worry, I'm making myself at home.

stephanie | 12:24 PM

I just got married and my family is pressuring me to have a baby.

I'm like -- I can't have a baby. I'm trying to write a novel.

But I'm heading into my 30's soon and I feel like I'm supposed to have a baby, but I don't really want to right now. I just want to write.

So thank you for your post. It made me feel better.

Elizabeth | 4:34 PM

Just saw this on "More from Blogher"-congratulations!

ECR | 5:52 PM
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ECR | 5:53 PM
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ECR | 5:58 PM

Write it, sister!

Anne Glamore | 6:25 PM

What an accomplishment, ESPECIALLY at such a chaotic time in your life!

Congrats!

Mamma | 3:32 PM

Way to go!!

And that last line...thanks for the inspiration. I'm so tired these days I don't even know what the dreams are.

mothergoosemouse | 5:36 PM

Bec, congratulations!!! That is fantastically inspirational news, and oh so welcome in the wake of all the sadness you've been through lately.

scarbie doll | 9:28 AM

Congrats Bex! Couldn't happen to a better person. Is it cool to annouce on BB?

mo-wo | 10:31 PM

Muse indeed. Congratulations.

MiM | 10:44 AM

You rock, Girl!!!! Many congratulations!!

Heather @ backwoodsbaby | 7:43 PM

This is fantastic news!~ I've read your blog for a few months now and have been endlessly entertained- and as someone sitting here at the moment 8-month-pregnant and wondering how this will all fit into my big plan of becoming what it was I wanted to be *when I grew up* its also very comforting.

This was obviously meant to be!

I cant wait to read your book- it will be fabulous!