Alex J. Cavanaugh and takes place on the first Wednesday of every month. It's an opportunity for the insecure writer in all of us to get out and stretch our legs and get a little love and support from our fellow writers. For a complete list of participants, click on the logo to the left.
Back in high school, I ran track. Of course, me running track looked a
lot like me hanging out on the bleachers eating Cookie Crisp while
watching other people run track. But there was one day, early in my
track career, where every member of the team participated in every event
that would take place at a meet. Our coaches did this in order to
decide who should focus on which events. I managed to hold my own until
we got to the last event: the 100m hurdles.
I'm sure you're all familiar with this event but, just in case, here's what you're supposed to do:
Here's what I did:
Only I wasn't nearly as graceful.
Needless to say, I did not run any races that involved hurdles because I
just couldn't quite clear them which was kind of an important detail
when competing in such a race. In order to win the race, one needed to
be able to do that. In order to finish the race, one needed to be able to do that.
And I couldn't even finish the race.
This is what publishing is proving to be for me. A straightaway
littered with hurdles that I just can't quite clear. But unlike high
school track, I can't just shrug it off and scarf down some sugary
cereal while I watch everyone else cross the finish line. Instead, it's
making me sad. It's making me worry.
Not that worrying is something new for me. One thing The Man always
says to me (besides "would you stop buying books?!?!?") is "you've got
to stop worrying." And it's not bad advice. It's probably even wise,
smart and all that but here's the thing... I don't know how.
I don't know how I don't worry about this. I mean, publishing a book— publishing Effigy— is one of my life goals. It's the
life goal. It's Number One on the list (followed closely by 'fly in
the invisible jet') so how do I not worry about my inability to make
this goal happen?
I set two dates this year as The Date. And then I watched them sail
by. Well, the first one sailed by. That one never had a chance; it
really was a pipe dream but I was too uneducated (What? Me, uneducated?
Surely you jest!) to realize it at the time. The second one I really
thought would happen but again, I didn't pull it off. Obviously,
right? Because if I had, somehow, managed to not screw this up, I'd
probably be writing a much different post.
And none of this should be construed as me giving up because I am not
giving up. I will admit to having those thoughts— to thinking that
it's just not meant to be—but I am not giving up. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am discouraged. Life would probably
be a lot easier if I wanted to be a professional precision folder but I
don't. I want to be a writer and so, come hell or high water, I will
find a way to get over those hurdles. I will find a way to get across
that finish line. I will build a bridge or a jet pack or a molecular transportation device (just as soon as I earn my degree in advanced starship technology...). I will figure out how to sprout wings or learn to levitate or something. I will figure it out and I will get over those hurdles and I will cross the finish line because failure is not an option. It may be my current reality but it will not be my future.
But until then, I'm going to worry.