I heard her speak tonight at a lovely venue in DC.
The most important thing about it, besides that I was there with a dear friend I haven't seen in years and it was wonderful to end that drought, is that she helped me put a tiny piece of my own creative identity into a proper place that I didn't even know it needed. By the time she became celebrated for her work, she knew what she was here to do. Her identity was solid. And she was able to start from that base, and write. She was able to pour out the words because she'd been apprenticing as a writer for 20 years. She had to live that time and practice all that time until the story was ready. And even then it was difficult, but it was possible.
This is the most basic information that felt the most revolutionary to me. I was in the exact place that I needed to be tonight, and now I have a nice book of quotes from her, if I'd like to stay there in my mind.
Like, you're not going to stay living in that dark story. You're going to be the girl whose life was saved by books.
Did I do the work? Did I do the best I could?" In art if you can say yes to those questions, you're a success.
And you have to decide what to do with the ugliest thing you've received: limp along with it or try to make it beautiful.
I was in just the right place tonight.