I saw my middle son off to school today. This time there were no tears because, well, he is 27. As I write this he is eating breakfast with students in his cohort and listening to orientation speeches. Heady stuff.
Almost two years ago I watched him start out along this newfound path. He stepped down from assistant retail manager to be a sales clerk, working 20-30 hours a week while taking post-baccalaureate classes. More student loans. Tough tests. The GRE exam. Arduous applications. Step-by-step Nathan overcame each obstacle.
I should be teaching him, but this time he taught me. Becoming a professional writer, like becoming a speech-language pathologist, takes time and work and investment. Oh yes, and guts. A change in mindset. A commitment to keep on taking those scary steps, one after the other.
So I’ve been following in Nathan’s wake. I was his consultant for graduate school applications and in turn, he became mine for the Darcy By Any Other Name cover design. He thoughtfully studied my synopsis and back copy and offered suggestions. He pored over each of the graphic designer’s mock-ups.
Over time, Nathan and his brother Michael have become my advisers. I never saw that one coming! But they like my writing and are interested in the book’s journey. Yesterday we debated at length whether the formatted print edition (at 600-odd pages) should be split into two books. Surprisingly, they said no, not this time. Nathan, an avid series reader, was quite convincing.
Who knew my sons would be so smart? They used to learn from me, and now I am learning from them. Step-by-step.