Did I ever tell you how much I have sold on Craigslist? A LOT of things, including but not limited to:
–Five synthetic plants (the man sniffed each one of them before buying them)
–All my old CDs
–A dinette set
–Not one, but TWO cars
It always gave me a warm neighborhoody feeling to pass things on and know that my stuff was going on to live another life somewhere else.
One day I sold a small chest of drawers. And the guy who showed up? Whoa. He was a tall drink of water, that one. So after he handed me $20 and walked out the door with the drawers, I messaged him something flirty about now that we had business out of the way, would he want to meet up?
We went for a long walk up Riverside Park a ways, and back. Enough to make me interested to learn more. He had a job in an industry I knew nothing about, and seemed intelligent, curious, and kind.
He messaged me the next day that while he thought I was an appealing person, I just wasn’t what he was looking for in a girlfriend.
Oh! OK. I wasn’t actually trying to be his girlfriend though. It was like finding out you’d been passed over for a position you hadn’t applied for.
I simply thought this might be someone to start to get to know; he already knew I wasn’t where he wanted to be.
And it’s fine, really. This was years ago. But what it showed me is how two people sharing a single experience can see it quite differently.
I was not girlfriend material for him.
But he is and will always be, material for me.
They say that writers get to live life twice. Once in real time, and once on the page.
Literally everything you’ve ever experienced is material. Something to draw on and examine, explore and enjoy, even laugh at.
Nora Ephron famously said, “Everything is copy” (which is what her mother said to her).
Everything is. It’s all material, and it’s all yours to use as you please. And you can use it in more places than you realize—in talks, in a book, but also in social media, in articles, in emails you write to your friends 🙂
So if you EVER think “Oh but who cares! My life is (dull, boring, insignificant) and no one cares to read about it.
You’d be wrong about that.
Even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant moments are the richest material of all—because they bring into sharp relief what it is to be alive, to be human.
Next week we’re going to turn our attention to your material—the magic, the minutiae, the heartbreak, the hilarity. Bring your dating stories, bring your proudest moments, bring the stories that are still writing themselves.
Bring it all, and bring a pen. So we can start writing, together.
Start Writing is next week – May 17-21 @ 1:00p ET – come whatever days you’d like (just please come on time so you don’t miss the prompt!).
P.S. Questions? Hit me up!