We are excited to be sharing the blog with Marci Nault today. Marci is the author of THE LAKE HOUSE, available next week everywhere books are sold. She’s also the creator of 101dreamscometrue.com, an inspiring site that will have you dreaming of life lists and wondering what you might be capable of reaching for–not someday but today. Today, Marci shares a very inspiring reflection on her debut process and the powerful connection between risk-takers.
I’m honored to guest blog today on the Debutante Ball. I’m a Deb this year, and I’ve come to this site many times to read the Deb’s blogs.
In my debut novel, The Lake House, the main character, Victoria Rose, leaves behind the man she loves and her close community of friends for a bigger life at the age of nineteen. Afraid her family will never accept her choice of becoming an actress in Hollywood, she stays away until at seventy-four she comes home with tremendous regret and the desperate need to make amends.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what happens to a woman when she chooses a different path. With all our advancement in the world women still expect certain behavior from other women.
Five years ago, my life turned upside down and instead of fighting for the man I’d planned on marrying I chose to pursue my own dreams. I made a life-list of 101 Dreams Come True that I wanted to experience; to live in Tuscany; raft the Futaleufu in Chile; go to private parties in Napa; travel the world solo; become a published author; and many more. I wanted to experience the adventures that characters had shown me through many wonderful novels.
When I chose this path many women supported me when they thought I was in my early twenties, but when I told them that I was in my mid-thirties they were confrontational. “You know no man will want you after a certain age. You’re eggs are getting older, don’t you want children? You’re going to regret this decision someday.”
My close friends and family made jokes about me never marrying and no matter how much I loved my life it always came down to the question, “So do you even have a boyfriend? You better choose a man fast or you’ll be alone forever.” These words plagued my decision to follow my journey, but they didn’t stop me.
I write this here, because it’s rather appropriate when talking about Debs. There was a time when women were presented to society in the hopes of finding a suitable husband to take care of them and their placement in life was who they married. Now, we present each other to society as artists, writers, businesswomen, and those simply taking chances.
For me, the most exciting part of being a debut novelist has been the support of other writers. Instead of clamoring for position and pushing each other down, we support one another with blogs like this one, tweets and Facebook posts, buying our writing friends’ books, and giving encouragement when needed. Everyday I picture the other female writers I’ve met all standing at the edge of a cliff wearing parachutes and holding hands. We run together towards the edge with the attitude – I jump, you jump, but no one has to jump alone.
I wonder how Victoria’s story would’ve changed if her friends had accepted her decision, known that she loved them even though she had to do her own thing. There’s a moment between Victoria and the man she left behind, Joseph, when he explains why her friends are so angry with her:
“You’ve suffered so deeply and lived fuller than anyone I know. Not one of us ever left the safety of this place. When someone lives as brightly as you, it’s hard for all of us in the shadows, because it reminds us of the dreams and chances we didn’t take. That’s where the real anger lies.”
I know other women are concerned about my happiness but do their comments also come from their own fear about what they haven’t done?
I believe that the reason female writers are so comfortable holding hands and helping one another is because we know what it means to take that risk, put ourselves out there standing a little naked before the world, and to try to live as brightly as we can.