I have been Geralyn all of my life. My given name is Geralyn Ruane. Then, when I was in 7th grade, I lied to a priest in order to snag Vivian as my middle name. For Confirmation, I was supposed to choose a saint's name, but I had just seen Gone With the Wind, so I told the priest Vivian was my grandmother's name, and he let me take it. It isn't, but do I feel guilty about lying? Hardly. What does the Church expect, letting 7th grade girls choose their own names? Many years later, I married Ron Corcillo, the love of my life, and chose to change my last name to Corcillo. Many of my friends were surprised by my decision, but I don't see what's so empowering about keeping my Dad's name. I chose to be a Corcillo. My choice.
Thus, I became Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo. I have since taken GVR Corcillo as my writing name because GVR Corcillo represents all of me - the laughter, the pain, the triumph, the tears, the elation, the disappointments, the hope, the emptiness, the kindness - and everything else that comprises a life. And as a writer, I use everything within me. GVR it is.
But it was just a name. I was still Geralyn, a sporadically inspired writer wanna-be. I have wanted to BE A WRITER ever since Mrs. Sheehan in The Middle School told me I had a flair for writing. Heck, I wanted to be a writer even before that. In first grade, I wrote a scandalous tale chronicling my cat Pepsi's pregnancy. And I've been writing poetry ever since that Haiku about the goat in second grade. I have wanted to be a writer for so long.
Wanna wanna wanna! Sometimes I would even be provoked by flashes of brilliance into writing something strong and I would win prizes. I even made it to the New York Times Best Sellers List once.
But I never buckled down to pursue writing as a career. Sure, I sent out the occasional query or submission, and I'd be ready to go if I were "discovered," but I never tried hard enough to be a writer. Why should I? What if it no one ever bought my stories? And why should I pursue marketing and audience avenues when I had no serious bids for the product? All that work for possibly nothing?
You can analyze it any way you want - I was scared of failure, scared of success, lazy, insecure, suffering from low self-esteem - it doesn't matter how you categorize it - I was not a writer.
Then, last Friday, I changed my life. I clicked the button on Createspace that made my novel go live. I self published my chic lit novel She Likes It Rough. Now, anyone can buy my book. I can buy my book! I already had the vibrant, substantial proof in my hand. I wrote a book! I created the book! I published the book! I am holding my BOOK in my HAND!!!!! AND ANYONE CAN BUY IT!!!!! I am an author.
Gone are the desultory writing habits slogging through my life and constantly reminding me what I am not doing and have not done. Such craven negligence is but a sad memory. Now, I wake up everyday eager to get started building my life as AN AUTHOR. The author GVR Corcillo. I do not fret over things I should have been doing for years, such as building up a social network or writing the ten other books in my head. No time for regrets. I start from here and go.
I am learning voraciously as I build my connections and forge my place in the book world. I have so much to do to launch my book, but I've got every day to do it. I have to make the e-book version of my novel available. And publish my YA short story. I also must start working on my second novel, Queen of the Universe, which comes out on Fall 2013. And I better get into shape, so I have oodles of energy and look kick-ass when I am on Ellen and Letterman.
Are you an emerging writer? Someone battling the demons that keep you from becoming what you always wanted to be? Feel free to tune in here or chime in on my website as I keep a nightly journal of my journey to become GVR Corcillo, author. Living the life of GVR, becoming GVR, is something I have to work at every day. And so far, I am loving every second of it!
But even when I don't, I'll still be here, working. Because that's what a writer does.
author of She Likes It Rough
Queen of the Universe coming this Fall
Can daring adventures with an adrenaline junkie help a shrinking violet of a city girl find the backbone she needs in order to live her life to the fullest?
I wish I had a goat
Grey with a snow white neck
That would be just fine