Returning from some work in New York, the client booked me and my colleague Mr. B in First Class on American Airlines for the return flight to Chicago. Considering I ended up in the last row (the one that doesn’t recline might I add) on the outbound flight on United, I felt ridiculously justified in my First Class seat. As the flight prepared for take-off, the flight attendants repeatedly called for Ms. D to report for her upgrade to First Class. How odd, I thought. This must be a really important person since airlines typically leave lesser-level fliers (even those with basic status like me) back in coach.
In the moments before Ms. D arrived to her seat, I imagined she was a harried global traveler, likely a literary agent negotiating deals around the world. When she did sit down, I noticed her casual clothes (jeans) and stylish red briefcase bag. As is my usual practice on airplanes, I chose not to ask her if my intuitive sense was correct — that is, I don’t like to talk on airplanes. Neither apparently did she and we settled into the flight in blissful silence.
Midway through he flight however, I noticed that my colleague Mr. B in the seats directly behind us was still yapping on and on to his seatmate in his normal animated fashion. That was when Ms. D casually remarked to me that the gentlemen behind us were quite the conversationalists. I sheepishly admitted to Mr. B being my colleague, explaining that he had previously hosted a talk-show for many years and well, old habits die-hard.
Our conversation could have ended there with a little laugh shared between us. Yet we continued on. After exchanging pleasantries and the like, I shared with her my little reverie about what she might do for a living and asked if she indeed was of the literary ilk. The short answer was no. Ms. D. was in fact a super-powered IT executive for a global corporation who traveled the world managing a large staff and seemingly even larger responsibilities. She traveled 200,000 or more miles a year, which explained the airline’s desire to re-seat her in First Class. Then, quietly she told me, “It’s funny you mention writing because I do write a little.” There unfolded the fact that every year she conducts a short-story contest with her family. They self-impose a 30-day deadline and then share with each other the fruits of their creative efforts. She had other writing stories as well, which simply made me happy to hear. Ms. D. was, after all, a writer at heart.
It made me wonder: Does everyone have a secret desire to write? Or, on the same note, does everyone have a secret aspiration?
When I floated this thought to K, my literary writing coach, she explained, “Most people who want to write aren’t sure how to do it and that’s what stops them from writing.”
Do you think it’s true? Do we all house a secret writer within us? Or, a secret aspiration? I’d be grateful if you could share your story.
- Rowling and Meyer: Writing in Secret By D.L. King (tymothylongoria.wordpress.com)