Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Writer in Training defines Success

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Dwight D. Eisenhower……so says the brochure the sweet loan officer handed me as I left the bank this morning.

Today, a business person, a banker no less, recognized me as a writer.

After quizzing my husband about his occupation, income, etc., the banker turned her smile to me.

“And what do you do?” she asked.

“I’m a writer,” I beamed.

The banker continued tapping away on her keyboard.  No abrupt halt in action, no giggling.  She appeared to believe me.  I felt encouraged.

“So who do you work for?” she asked.

“I work for myself,” I replied, sitting a little straighter.

“How much do you make?” she asked.

Proudly, I rattled off the number emblazoned in my memory bank.  I’d blown way past my 2006 writing goal:  publish two articles and enter one contest.  I was ready to brag.  “And I think I might even have to pay taxes this year,” I added with a flourish.

Tapping ceased with an abrupt halt.  Quickly, she looked at me then back to my husband for confirmation, then back at me again.  She bit her lip and appeared to become quite engrossed in the numbers dancing across her computer screen.

“So why is that all you made this year?” she asked with genuine concern, “Did you market your business?” 

“It might help you to know I made that money 75.00 at a time,” I countered weakly.

I stared at her staring at me until she finally broke away from my gaze.  One finger at a time she tapped in my 2006 earnings.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

She studied her screen.  She tapped some more.  She looked up and smiled. 

Upon completion of our business, the banker handed me a brochure advertising the Small Business Development Center located at our local college.  “They offer free advise, low cost workshops and seminars to people such as yourself,” she said, “They can help you make your business successful.” 

This month marks the one year anniversary of my decision to finally only write for a living.  It has been challenging, scary, and absolutely thrilling.  I’m having a blast.  The first time I introduced myself as a writer was at the Writer’s at UT Club event hosted by the Writer’s League of Texas.  Even though I held an award in my lap proclaiming me a finalist in their memoir writing contest, as I listened to the other writers reading from their latest books, I kept waiting for someone to jump out of the shadows and bust me for impersonating one of them.  The first time I opened a magazine and saw my name in print above an article,  then saw my picture at the end of it with the caption about the author, I teared up.  “It must be true,” I thought, “I am a professional writer.  It says so right there.”

And today, a business person, a banker no less, recognized me as not just professional writer, but as a starving artist to boot, and she offered a helping hand.  How cool is that?  Carpe diem ya’ll, Michele 

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October 3, 2006 - Posted by | Blogroll, Inspiration, Michele's Musings, Writerly Stuff

2 Comments »

  1. My first peek and I left with a big, warm smile.
    You’re on your way!

    Comment by Pam G-B | October 4, 2006 | Reply

  2. I really hope you people will help me to be frugal and use credit cards wisely. My credit history is far from perfect but I really need a credit card. Which would you think is the best offer for bad credit at

    get approved for a discover card now

    Comment by carroll | December 17, 2007 | Reply


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