A Lot of Evens
Even though I wrote little snippets of tales as a child, and even though I was editor of my high school magazine, and college literary society where I won awards for writing, even though I read books voraciously, even though I compulsively kept diaries, even though I wrote many short stories as a young adult, it never entered my mind that I could be a “writer.”
A Product of My Generation
Girls became wives and mothers. First and foremost. Then if you had to work, or even wanted to work, I assumed you had only these choices. Teacher. Librarian. Secretary. Nurse. Receptionist. Beautician. Saleslady. All of them low-paying jobs, of course. Women didn’t deserve to have salaries equal to men. At least, that’s what we were told.
Wait, I left out models and actresses. But in those days, there was a moral price to be paid for such jobs. Your basic “nice girl” didn’t think along those lines as being real goals.
(I once had a summer job modeling. Highly overated and definitely not glamorous.)
Sure, I read books by women writers. But they were icons to me. Creatures from a faraway imagined world. My mind could not envision myself on that hallowed ground. Heaven knows I read every book I could find written by women.
Only a Hobby
I wrote. I liked to write. All I ever wanted to do was write. My sweet hobby. Did I made the connection? I guess not. I became a school teacher. No, not even an English teacher. I taught third and fourth grade kiddies. But I sure taught those kids how to read and write.
Getting the Message
Finally, after college, wanting to try something new instead of teaching, I answered an ad for a job on a small town newspaper. Where I got to write articles and took photos with a Speed-graphic camera. A wild idea was brewing inside my fevered brain. I liked this. I loved this. This writing thing…
Timidly, I mailed out short stories to publishers. Sold two. But, it still being a man’s world, I was advised not to let them know I was a woman, so I used my initials. R.W. Lakin.
Since, because then living in LA. Home of Hollywood, I made my big jump. At age 33, I sold my first script to television. And never looked back.
Look Ma, I'm a Writer
And wrote and wrote and wrote. Short stories, theatrical plays, TV scripts and eventually novels. Mystery novels. A whole lifetime of doing what I loved to do. Winning prizes, lots of nominations. What is it, the kids of today say? – follow your bliss.
Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am… a writer