I ran into someone I hadn't seen in over 10 years. He knew me when I was managing a very active physical therapy practice and didn't know that even then, I was a closet writer. He sent me a lovely email wishing me well in my new career and related a story about a writer he knew who had let fear get in the way of her aspirations.
It started me thinking. Am I that courageous? Fearless? (Are they the same thing?? But that is probably a post for another day. . .)
What made me keep writing and keep submitting, even though I knew the odds were bleak?
I don't think it is any kind of particular bravery on my part. Most folks believe that I am quite confident and self-assured. What I am good at is projecting that appearance. Who I really am is just plain stubborn mixed with a crazy sense of optimism, tempered by just a dash of cynicism.
I have learned resilience and have a pretty solid sense of my place in the universe. It's not in the driver's seat. It's not even in the passenger seat. Mostly, it's holding on to the roof with my fingernails as the car speeds down the highway and the driver doesn't even know I'm there.
So I don't try to control the big stuff.
And when it came to the writing, I knew what I wanted and I knew it would take a lot of elbow grease and a willingness to set aside fear and ego to make the words the best they could be. Beyond that, it wasn't up to me.
The next steps aren't either.
Such is timing: to have a marketable book and a willing agent just at the time where the economy is looking its bleakest since the Great Depression. Yet another thing I have no control over.
Nephele will do her best to sell "The House of Many Doors." I trust her in this. She is hopeful and optimistic and I can get behind that. What I won't do is waste a lot of emotional energy worrying about it. What I will do is work on the next novel.
And the next. And the next one after that.