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It’s Just… For Good Luck

This past year a couple things happened that led me to finally taking the NaNo pledge/plunge.

First, I attended a writer’s workshop last summer put on by mamas, for mamas. In it we broached a topic near and dear to me. Why it is that we, as people who feel compelled to write (but may not be published in any conventional sense), have such a hard time calling ourselves writers. Not long after that I was settling down to watch Wonder Boys, a movie about writers written by writer Michael Chabon. The little man was falling asleep on my lap as it began. He was just about to drift off for good when one scene opened, with Rip Torn stepping up to the mic. Standing at a podium he projected his booming voice to an auditorium at a make believe conference. And he loudly declared “I,” pause, “am a writer.” For some reason the little man thought this was incredibly funny. He sat straight up, repeating this statement over and over again while falling into fits of giggles. He even demanded that I rewind the scene a few times. While this was amusing in the short term, there’s been an unexpected long-term effect. Now, when I sit down to write at one of my computers, I often hear Rip Torn’s voice reverberating in my skull, in repeat-after-me mode, “I…am a writer.” It’s a bit annoying, but oddly empowering.