Alongside this daily practice of writing and blogging I am submitting to other publications. In the olden days, I have read that you were sent a rejection letter if your piece was passed over. Those letters sometimes provided a way to improve or an explanation as to why they went in another direction. Today there is usually a disclaimer that states some variation of the following. Don’t call us we will call you if we want anything.
I am not sure that I would feel better if I was amassing a stack of Thank-you-but-no-thank-yous. I would like to think that I would. But after more careful consideration I have realized that it would only feed my ego to have some physical representation (even if it was negative) of what I have done so far. This is sort of twisted but also honest. I think by putting myself out there is exposes me in a way that I am uncomfortable with, which probably means I am growing and if I work with it instead of against it I will learn from the experience.
There is something terrifying about doing the thing you wished you could do (Oh, if only I had the time) and seeing if there really is anything there. It’s been about a month and a half and I have tried to make the time to think and write and hopefully make sense of what is going on around me, while documenting it. I am doing this in a small slot of time usually right before I fall asleep at night but I am not complaining. Seriously, there is safety in that.
If the post isn’t that funny or bright – then there is no pressure right now, right? I am just squeezing it in – the bar isn’t set too high right now. But next week, in mere days I will have full workdays available to me. A tiny voice, the most familiar of them all, whispers the same unnerving thing; what if I am not any better then? What if I have all the time in the world – an opportunity repressed writers always dream of and I can’t make it. Then what?
That has been enough to convince me to quit or truth be told not even try. Because that question is always there – it has been there my whole life. But somehow, each day finds me here, trying and thinking and working out a way to not let that come to pass. Every day I do find the time. Every day I stare down that question and think, no.
Failure to me would be not seeing this through. It would be safer to throw in the towel and say it’s too unrealistic to think I could make it. Because then I would be off the hook. I wouldn’t have to see the lack of response to my submissions. I wouldn’t have to come back to the drawing board with new ideas. I wouldn’t have to deal with the possibility that I am not all that I hope I can be.
I could just sit back and sneer at the cold, cold world. I could coat my bitterness with sarcasm or blame or feigned indifference and pretend that I haven’t dreamt of seeing my writing in print ever since I could read. I would have plenty of company, but that is not the kind I want to keep.
I am becoming a dreamer and a doer. I want to do exactly what I am doing right now, running down the dream and not knowing how it ends up but knowing that it feels better trying and hearing the deafening silent rejections then wondering if I will ever even get around to submitting something. I hope that if you are reading this and you are doubtful about your path that you know that it’s not just you. The ones who blaze a trail just work at it a little longer. The changes that I want to see are only going to come into view when I take chances, so I am committed to doing that too.