In First Grade we had an assignment where we had to paint the letters in our names and use each letter to start a word that described our personalities. I had:
I explained to my unimpressed teacher that I loved enchiladas, just had all my shots, and didn’t know what the hell ‘endomorph’ meant, but it sounded really interesting! She suggested:
V ery Intelligent
I didn’t know what “extraordinary” meant, but she assured me that I was.
I went to a party in Malibu the other day, and let me tell you…if ever a human was to feel inadequate, this was the crowd in which to feel that way. Some of my closest friends were there, and they happen to be some of the most accomplished people on the planet. Let’s see…there was the Mayor, the Pediatric AIDS expert, the Native American rights attorney, the doctor of Zoology/Biology and environmental research expert, the inventor of the cochlear implant, the famous Psychiatrist to the stars, a movie producer, and various other fascinating friends. I usually feel anything but extraordinary around these people.
And you know what I heard all day? “Oh my God, Eve! I heard you finished your book. Tell us about it! And you got an offer from an agent! OMG, details! Details! And three editors have requested it? You’re so cool. I wish I could write a book. Tell us all about it!”
There’s something about writing a whole book that makes people take you seriously…like you must be really smart, or driven, or creative, or some combo of the three. Not that my friends didn’t take me seriously before, but I’ve spent the last five years writing…which often looks like unemployed slacking to normal folk.
You know the drill…an acquaintance or dude you meet in a bar says, “Oh, you’re a writer! What have you written? Can I get it at Barnes and Noble?” Then you tell him you are “Pre-Published”…to which he responds, “So, what do you DO? I mean, like, for WORK?”
It’s bizarre to the outside world that we sit all day and brainstorm, write, re-write, then re-write some more…and don’t get paid. In fact, many days it’s hard for me to take myself seriously. A lot of times Robin and I go, “What are we doing with our lives? This is crazy!” (I’m omitting Jay here because, well, unless you’ve been under a rock lately, you know!)
Now that publishing professionals are taking notice and telling us we’re not complete nutcases and that we actually do have talent, we’re finally certain that we’re doing the right thing with our lives. It’s cool to finally feel like I’m doing something meaningful and interesting with my life…something that I’m extraordinarily passionate about.
Extraordinary: adj. “deserving attention and comment; having a special purpose”
I don’t know if I deserve any attention, but I feel like I’ve definitely found my “special purpose.” (I’m a walking cliché, I know.)