This past week was a difficult one for me. I am close to finishing my book and wondering how my Word Babies will be accepted by the world. Will people buy my book? If they do buy it, will they like it? What if it gets ripped apart in book clubs? What if it doesn’t get published at all?!
Part of my anxiety stems from the fact I just entered the first four chapters into the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. Contest finalists will be announced in June, and the winners will be announced at the writers conference in July. Finalists will receive ribbons to wear at the conference, and I find that quite glamorous – being marked for greatness by the literary powers that be, hobnobbing with agents and editors, and proudly discussing my written offspring. So now, of course, I’m worried about not being awarded a ribbon and am already fraught with jealousy over a yet to be determined list of winners. (insert loud, exasperated sigh.)
This morning I boarded a ferry to Lummi Island to spend part of the day writing at the Beach Store Cafe. It’s the perfect place to grab a chair by the window and let those worries recede into the waters of Hale Passage. Sitting here and reading over my manuscript, I am reminded that I write because I love writing, not because of finalist ribbons or promise of where my Word Babies will travel. Writing is like steering a boat through fog. I don’t know if the waters ahead are smooth or turbulent. I don’t know if I’ll even find the shore or how long I’ll be sailing. But, I keep moving forward.
What’s the alternative? To stay docked?
I am assured that all writers have doubts about their craft. Does anyone else out there worry so much about things that haven’t even happened?
12 years ago, I was living east of Kansas City, Missouri and driving 20 miles through blizzards nearly everyday to get to and from work. On one particularly frightening evening, I discovered this delightful thing called freezing rain. I grew up in central Minnesota, so freezing rain was a new concept. Precipitation always just came down in the form of snow. So, when a layer of ice accumulated on my windshield that night, I was terrified. I had to roll down my window and drive with my head outside to navigate the last mile to my apartment.
Two days later, when I journeyed down I-70 again to return to work, I was shocked to discover the ice-storm carnage. Multiple semi-trucks littered the ditches, some overturned. Cars were strewn about like an angry giant-child had taken to the freeway. That day, I made the decision to get the heck out the Midwest! I had recently separated from my husband, so I saw no reason to stay in Missouri and subject myself to the weather any longer. If it wasn’t ice-storms and blizzards in the winter, it was tornadoes in the summer. No thanks!
I moved to the Seattle, Washington area. Snow is rare, and I have not yet experienced an ice-storm here. Mostly, it just rains, and I’m okay with that! Rain or shine, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I know many people who follow my blog may think “home” is more of an Ireland state of mind for me. But, when I saw the photo challenge this week, I knew exactly where I belonged.
This week, the Daily Post Photo Challenge is “Unique”. I couldn’t think of anyone more unique than my friend, Pam, and her Pamopoly board. Complete with bottle caps featuring pictures of Pam at different stages of her life, this comically depressing twist on the Hasbro game will send you to Therapy instead of Jail. And you start out $1,500 in debt. Pam explains it on her blog, Putting on my Big Girl Panties. While you’re there, follow her blog! She’s going to be a famous writer one day – I promise!