After reaching the pot of gold at the end of the "writing rainbow," acknowledge all friends, teachers, siblings, pets, husbands, and dream-sequence celebrities who helped you attain your awesome writing success. Even if you miss the pot and instead fall into a vat of vino, you mustn't forget to send champagne, flowers, or a really nice gift card to entertainer, former SNL comedian, and a guy who performs a great Frank Sinatra impression: Joe Piscopo.
In the early 1990's I was going through some rough personal times and feeling rudderless. I worked in sales, but had always dreamed of becoming a published writer. One night I had a life-altering (and colorful!) dream. I was sitting with others at a long wooden table. I had pen in hand, head down, staring at the blank sheet of paper before me. A very tall man--the teacher, I thought--loomed over me, then bent down and stared me in the face. Yes, it was Joe Piscopo, much larger than life and with piercing blue eyes. I heard a deep voice demand,"Why aren't you writing? People, editors, are waiting for your writing!"
I had never thought a lot about Joe, and vaguely remembered him from a comedy special. He was pretty scary, though, and the dream and his bulging eyes, stayed on my mind for a long time. It struck me funny, but I felt there was a message there, one I shouldn't ignore.
I thought about that dream often, then began writing with a renewed sense of confidence. I felt invigorated and determined to succeed. Within several months, I had received my first paycheck from the Pittsburgh Trib Sunday magazine editor for a first-person essay about a world without adjectives.
And despite some setbacks along the path to the pot, I always return to writing. I cannot imagine my life without it.
note-to-self: His eyes are brown, not blue.