As a mother of one in the early 70s – let me rephrase that – as an emotionally immature mother of one in the early 70s, I had the attention span of child afflicted with ADD. I wanted adventure, I wanted change, and I wanted to be noticed for my remarkable writing skills.
The fact that I hadn't written anything that anybody other than I and my teachers had ever read didn't matter. I KNEW I would be famous if only SOMEBODY would recognize my talents.
So when the opportunity to live in California arrived – THE place that was the heart of my dreams – I dragged my kicking and screaming daughter across the continent to live in California where, at last, my skills and talents would be rewarded.
But that old familiar merry-go-round rang in my ears with every phone call:
"Do you have an agent?"
"Do you belong to the Guild?"
"Have you ever had anything published?"
I recognized the ride. I had that same experience when I was living in New York.
The next best option was to get a job. Having worked for attorneys in Chicago, I applied at law firms. Working for a California criminal lawyer, would have been great. But I was in Del Mar (near San Diego), a little too far away from my dream city. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer would have brought me closer to my dream, but I encountered one major problem I hadn't previously anticipated.
Del Mar, at the time, offered no public transportation. I had no way of getting to any job. I packed up and went home, defeated.
Fast forward to now. The dream is still alive. I've attended seminars, read books and magazines, written blogs, articles, books, and screenplays. I've also entered some contests, the results of which won't be announced until October, 2012. I'm not yet where I want to be, but I abide by George Eliot's quote, "It's never too late to be what you might have been."
If I could give the younger me some words of advice about making it in the writing business, especially in the field in which I would prefer to write (screenwriting), I would say to myself, "Study, learn, read, and prepare."