Bitten by the plot bunny? When did I first admit to being a writer?
For me, it was 1989 as best as I can recall. That was the year the Berlin Wall came down, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, and the 49ers beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl. People were listening to Madonna singing Like a Prayer and going to see Good Morning Vietnam at the movies.
The Cosby Show ruled the airways.
Alas, Robin Williams is now gone, and Cosby…well, that was 1989.
On the literary scene, Anne Tyler won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lesson and Camilo Jose Cela won the Nobel Prize for Literature. My favorite writer, John Le Carre, published The Russia House.
And I signed up for my first writing class. I tip my hat to the memory of Henrietta Blake and her class on short stories.
How was I to realize her teaching would open the lid, letting the writing genie out of the bottle? Over the years, I have both loved the genie when the words were flowing and detested that genie, staring at a blank page.
Story ideas started to creep into my mind like a cat, belly low, sneaking up on me. I wrote a story, then another, then a third. I started to think that I might be a writer. Finally, knowing I had no choice but to write, I realized it wasn’t a cat, it was the bite of a Plot Bunny.
I thought it would be one and done until more plot bunnies arrived. They are still hovering around as I write this. Tricky little devils that sleep underneath my bed, then leaping up to whisper in my ear. Sometimes they hide in the bushes, springing out at me as I ride my bicycle. They’re hiding everywhere.
Some might want to point out that plot bunnies aren’t real. Hah.
I found that once bitten, there was no turning back.
I knew I was a writer, but the next step was harder, finally admitting that out loud.
Developing a passion for writing short stories, I would hide them from view, sharing them only with a close circle of family and friends. It was like hiding a dark secret, the fear nobody would take me seriously as a writer.
I imagined it was easy for others to write, and write better than me.
In the beginning, I learned to balance my desire to write with those other demands on my time. That never changes, but there is always time to write, or think about writing.
I’m now proud to say, “I’m a writer.” I say it loud and with pride.
When the plot bunny nibbled at my ankle with a novel idea, pun intended, I embarked on a remarkable self-publishing journey with some smooth roads and fantastic scenery. It’s also had many detours and roadblocks, and toll roads charging some hefty fees.
But, like I said, no longer bashful about my writing, it feels good to admit to being a writer, an author, a novelist.
I don’t know the precise date I was bitten by the plot bunny, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the words, the ones I read, and the ones I write.
So, when did the Plot Bunny bite you?