30 before 30, blogging, creative writing, Jim Chaney, life, RemebeRed, Stephen King, WriteOnEdge, writing, writing prompt
Fellow blogger and friend of The Wordslinger, Emily Wilson of My Pajama Days, recently introduced me to a website community of writers called WriteOnEdge. The website was created for writers to come together, give and receive feedback on their work, and improve their writing through regularly posted prompts. Emily has been participating in these prompts for quite some time and I’m always impressed with her posts so I decided to check it out.
What I found were some incredibly talented writers and some wonderful, creativity-inducing prompts. As I am always looking to improve on my own writing skills, especially with the start of my novel looming, I decided I would try my hand at this week’s prompt. Thanks Emily!
This week’s memoir prompt comes from a quote from the incredible Stephen King. In his book, “On Writing”, he says, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” The prompt is to write a true, first-person account inspired by this quote. The word limit for the prompt is 300. Let’s go!
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My hands gripped the wheel tight as I sat in the parking lot taking one deep breath after another. I reached up and adjusted the mirror so as to assess my appearance from the neck up. Nervously, I fidgeted with the knot in my tie trying desperately to achieve symmetry with the collar.
“Jesus, that looks like crap.” I whispered to myself as I adjusted the Windsor one last time.
It had been nearly nine months since the last time I sat in my car about to start the work day. Nine months of job hunting, filing unemployment papers, and wondering when the nightmare would end. Nine months of interviews, second interviews, and heart-breaking rejections. But all that was over now. The monkey was officially off my back and from the moment I received that long-awaited phone call, I had been walking on air. Yet here I sat, beads of sweat emerging just below my hair-line as I felt my heart beat like a kick drum.
“You’ll be fine.” I said calmly to myself. “They hired you for a reason. You can do this job, and do it well.”
Having questioned myself and my professional abilities for three-quarters of a year, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised at the jittery feeling that had come over me. Like an unwelcome house guest, my nerves had arrived without warning and were showing no signs of leaving. I took another deep breath and looked down at the picture of my wife and daughter that was about to find a home on my new desk. I smiled and the grip on my steering wheel began to loosen. “You can do this.” I repeated to myself; then I opened the car door and finally headed back to work.
Julie Farrar (@Julie_Farrar) said:
Congratulations on the job. I love the little detail about the tie. We expect to see something about nervousness and beads of sweat in a situation like this, the tie thing is great. Welcome to blogging party.
Ms. Vic said:
Excellent as always!
Cheryl @ Mommypants said:
So glad you joined us. The adjusting of the tie was a great way to show your nerves.
I love this! It is so honest and relatable. The image of you looking at a picture of your wife and daughter made me a little teary-eyed. They are lucky to have you. Great job on your first prompt!
Thanks Em…always there with a kind word.
Galit Breen said:
First of all, thank you so much for writing! Hooray, and welcome!
Second of all, wowsa was this ever relatable! That first step into something new- nothing captures that like the place that requires a tie, and pays the bills!
I’m glad that your piece ended where it did- with moving forward.
Thanks for the kind words, and the compliments on my post! Appreciate you stopping by!
Wild Child Mama said:
Love that moment in the beginning, in the parking lot, the safety of your car. Such a scary place to leave. Great job creating that tension. My heart is pounding just thinking about it. Then, you got out of the car! Well done:)
I’m glad to hear my words hit the mark. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again!
John Erickson said:
Wow, 10 years since I worked a 9-to-5, and another 11 since I interviewed, and you still made me feel the “butterflies”. Butterflies? More like buzzards! 😀
Very good work!
Always appreciate your kind words my friend. Thanks for the comment!
I think a lot of people can relate to this post. The first day is hard enough, without all the problems you faced finding one.
Agreed, it’s something we all go through one time or another. Thanks for the comment!
Your second paragraph is just wonderful. “’Jesus, that looks like crap.’ I whispered to myself as I adjusted the Windsor one last time.”
It’s simply phrased and immediately I can see you in your car, fidgeting with your tie, and I so know that feeling. Especially as I’m kicking my second job hunt in as many years.
You give me hope. And a sympathetic chuckle. Thank you!
And welcome! I hope we see you for our Friday prompt, too!
Glad I could give you a little levity! Thanks for stopping by!
ugh, the first day is always the worst. you captured that wonderfully well.
Enjoyed it… very real and descriptive. Especially loved the line “Jesus, that looks like crap.” I whispered to myself as I adjusted the Windsor one last time. reminded me of my hubbie.
Thanks for stopping by and for the comment as well. I hope you’ll take a look around at some of my other posts while you’re here!
I feel so glad that I’ve never had to be in a position of supporting myself. I’ve done job interviews and first days, I’ve had nerves, but I’ve never had the knowledge riding on it that it’s this or nothing. (That sounds really pathetic, doesn’t it?) Good memory to share.
Thanks for the comment Kathleen! Nice of you to drop by.
Tori Nelson said:
I love the detail about fidgeting with your work clothes. What used to seem like the everyday becomes nerve wracking after time away. Great post!
Thanks Tori! You’re right, it’s like riding a bike again…it comes back to you eventually, but at first you’re falling all over the place!
AmyBeth Inverness said:
I’m so glad you decided to join in!
Do you lean more towards the memoir prompts or the fiction?
This was a great memory… very well narrowed down to that moment and all it encompassed.
Thanks Amy Beth. After reading posts from Emily at My Pajama Days, I think I will try giving both a shot. I like telling stories about my life (which I you read more of my blog, you’ll see that’s the general theme), but I also want to work on my fiction writing since I’m about to begin writing a novel! I look forward to participating more!