One of my favorite spots in D.C. is a bookstore/restaurant called Kramerbooks. It’s several of my favorite things, all wrapped into one: books, beer, and food. Recently, I was there reading, and writing. I had picked up my journal and began to write about a personal matter. The words flowed out well, and as I articulated my thoughts on this matter, a white haired man sat on the stool next to me and lightly tapped my arm, “Are you a writer?” he asked.
It was one of those moments I could claim to be anything, and since I have had a small blurb published in The Lutheran Magazine a few years back, I suppose technically, yes I am a writer. I have this blog, I have my stacks of journals, but I felt particularly inclined to say yes to this man.
“Yeah, but this is just my personal journal” I replied.
He began to fill me in on his life, offering to buy me another drink. Before he showed up I had told myself I wasn’t going to buy another drink, but since he offered, and I figured I was interested enough in this random conversation, I agreed.
Turns out this man has led an interesting life, and though has loved writing his whole life, only recently has been a published author. When he first showed up I could tell he had a few drinks somewhere else first, and it became very apparent the second time he pulled out a business card and explained in the same words the subject of his book. I just smiled and took the card.
There were a few moments he asked about my life. For some reason I wasn’t sure what to say, but that was alright, because I didn’t have to say much before his tipsy mood wandered into another story from his life. I was less enthused when he wandered away from his story and onto politics.
Nuggets of wisdom were peppered into his story. “Don’t give up” was one of them. At this point in my life it is not one of my aspirations to be a published writer—someday in the future maybe, but not now, and it’s not a goal I need to work on yet. I’m content with this blog, with my photography, and my journal. Perhaps in the future I’ll write about my travels (or something else…), but what makes those interesting enough to be published? When I figure that out, I’ll go for it.
Hearing stories from people who are in a different stage in life calls me back to a reality that is grounded in this: Enjoy life now, follow my dreams, and know that there are many years ahead in this life to keep dreaming and enjoying and doing many different things.
Cheers, wherever you are. Sorry, I’m not going to be buying 5,000 copies of your book.