A few days ago I went to see my favorite author, David Sedaris, give a reading. His writing is what I aspire to. I've read all his books and listened to them on audio. I get my hands on anything that he writes and watch any interview he gives. I've had the tickets for months, held to the front of my refrigerator by a bright shiny magnet. I knew he'd be signing books at the event so my favorite paperback had been on the coffee table awaiting the big day. I'd been wracking my brain trying to come up with a whopping compliment to deliver. I sprang out of bed that morning like a kid at Christmas and all day long I chuckled to myself imagining all the witty banter I would exchange with my idol. I got to the venue early and shot straight to the signing line, scoffing internally at the comments I overheard from people who clearly don't know David Sedaris as well as I do and certainly haven't read all his books as many times as I have. Finally, my turn came and there I stood there in awe, not able to complete a single sentence. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'm rarely ever at a loss for words, yet I nodded my head like a bobble head doll and could barely manage simple responses to his attempts to chat with me. He took some markers out of a ziplock bag and did a one of a kind drawing for me: the bleeding severed arm of a snowman. I took my book back and immediately clutched it to my chest as I sputtered out a thank you. I've met my favorite musician, plus plenty of others, comedians and even an Oscar nominated actress and managed to have conversations and not appear starstruck. This, however, was the first time I met someone famous who is doing something I want to do, who is living out my secret dream. There are so many things I'd love to ask or talk about yet I couldn't think of a single one.
After the reading, the house lights came on and there was a Q & A session. Thankfully other people had the wherewithal to ask the questions I wish I had thought of. I leaned forward in my chair, trying to soak in as much of his knowledge as possible. He talked about how one of the stories he had read us was in its 19th draft and I nodded, thinking what an important fact that is for someone who expects to write something perfect in one sitting. "I get up every day and I write", he said "That's all I've got going for me." I've gone over that evening in my head over and over, trying to take in as much as I can from the experience and it's that line that has stuck with me the most. Get up every day and write. I can do that!