Play Acting

As I write this, I’m sitting in Starbucks. I work here twice a week while my daughter attends dance class at the studio across the street.

At the next table are two girls who are supposed to be in the dance class with her. They were here when I arrived an hour and a half ago and they’re showing no signs of leaving. I’m guessing they’ve decided to skip.

It’s easy for us as adults to roll our eyes and mutter “kids today”. They’re wasting an amazing opportunity (not to mention their parents’ money) because they don’t see the value in it. They’re sitting there on their phones, drinking $8 coffee, playing grownup. That’s not meant as a criticism. It’s an observation that, in fact, they’re right on schedule. That’s how people, who are just beginning to enter adulthood, behave.

When we’re just beginning to enter the creative life, we behave that way too. We play at being authors. We let opportunities pass us by because we don’t yet recognize the value in them. We say that we don’t have the money or the need, to invest in a course, or the time to commit to a regular writing routine.

Sooner or later, those girls will grow up. They’ll realize that being an adult is much more than sitting in Starbucks. And sooner or later, we’ll turn pro. We’ll realize that professional writers practice their craft. We’ll start to invest time and money, we’ll study and we’ll improve.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women