When I was in grad school for literature, Ted Gup was my first creative writing teacher, and he asked us to write an essay where we interviewed someone. I really wanted to interview a Christian writer, someone I could relate to artistically and in terms of faith. So I decided to try and interview my favorite writer. This was in the days before the internet was the most reasonable way to find someone, so I called information . . . got a number . . . and called . . .
Anne Lamott. That’s right, I called Anne Lamott’s house.
“You’ve reached Annie and Sam. Please leave a message,” the machine said.
So I did.
“Ms. Lamott, my name is Andi Cumbo, and I’m writing an essay about Christian writers. I wonder if I could talk to you.”
I can’t really remember if that’s exactly what the machine said, or if that’s what I said, but I do know it was Anne Lamott’s voice on the machine, and I do know I almost hyperventilated at the sound. Now, I can’t believe I left a message on Anne Lamott’s answering machine. The nerve of me.
But as I sit here with Lamott’s newest book by my side, (Many thanks to Shelf Awareness for the contest where I won a free copy.) I’m so grateful that I was that young, naive writer who believed it was quiet acceptable to call a very famous, very talented writer to ask her wisdom.
I wonder where that girl went. I wonder how I can get her back.
What’s the most absurdly brave thing you’ve done for writing? What might you do today that you won’t believe you actually did in ten years?