Talks-a-lot

I was ten when Dances with Wolves came out. Such a beautiful film, yet all my family took from it was nicknaming someone after their traits. Mine stuck; my father called me Talks-a-lot until I asked him to stop as a twelfth birthday present.

When I was thirteen I was obsessed with quotations. One day I happened across:
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The words spoke to me. I, too, couldn’t help but share my latest journal entry if I thought it well written, even when I’d prefer its content remain private. And I never lied, not because I’m virtuous but because I break out in hives. I so related to Plath’s thought that I ran down to my dad’s desktop to look up this Sylvia woman—clearly a soul sister—only to discover she took her own life. It left me thinking I’d be smart to learn how to shut the hell up.

A natural propensity to share is great until it’s not. In my old life, as a high tech exec, information was gold and I learned to hand it out sparingly. It’s a good skill to have. In my new life, as a writer, I push myself to bring Talks-a-lot back; to not censor myself. What I work towards—the mecca—is the ability to turn the two faucets on and off given the situation.

As it relates to my road to publication, I put it all out there for friends and family (with the exception of financial details). When my first novel got an agent but never sold I regretted it, the way I regretted telling people my husband and I were trying to conceive. It’s stressful to have an audience on a journey with no end in sight, or even no end guaranteed. There are people who wait for you to share an update (love) and people who demand a status update every time you see them (love less). But having an audience gave me a level of accountability I sorely needed. I told people I was writing a book, and so every day I went up to my office to work on it. And in the end, when I did get that book deal, my people knew it was hard won which made the celebration all the sweeter.

 

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Abby Fabiaschi is the author of I LIKED MY LIFE (St. Martin's Press, February 2017). She and her family divide their time between Tampa, Florida and Park City, Utah. When not writing or watching the comedy show that is her children, she enjoys reading across genres, skiing, hiking, and yoga. Oh, and travel. Who doesn’t love vacation? Learn more at abbyfabiaschi.com.

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