Saturday, December 1, 2012

Are You Standing on the Precipice?

I've been thinking a lot the last couple of months about this dream of becoming a published writer. The thinking got amped up when I actually had the dream materialize.

Suddenly, here I was, the girl who'd been dreaming, who'd been dashed, who stood up again to chase the kite tail of an impossible dream, only to finally catch the damn thing. Exhilarating. Yes, indeed. And I won't lie, it's been all the awesome you would think it would be. The absolute pinnacle.

Yet, at the same time, it's brought other things. Guilt. Yes, you read that right, guilt. What the hell do you have to be guilty about, you might ask. It's you guys. The ones still out there plugging. The ones whose writing is every bit as lovely as mine, but for what ever reason, the right eyes haven't seen it, the right gust of wind hasn't brought that kite string blowing your way.

And so, I wanted to share two blog posts that I found inspiring at different times. The first is written by a writing friend of mine, Megan Shepherd. A few years ago, Megan and I were in a workshop course together, and I had the privilege of reading and critting a few chapters of her soon-to-be-published, The Madman's Daughter. Megan had a real fairy tale of a publishing story and I'll admit it, I had a few human moments of "why can't that be me....we were in the same class...I want that to be me." But the thing is, it wasn't my time yet. It wasn't my moment. The right eyes hadn't seen the work on the right day. And I hadn't written THE manuscript yet. But Megan wrote this post. And it's brilliant.


Then recently, I stopped in at the blog of aspiring writer, Kelsey Macke. And she'd also written a brilliant post about how writers need to support each other at every stage. And I thought it was so lovely and so insightful, that I wanted to share it, too.


And in conclusion, I'll leave you with my own thought. Years ago, I read a Henry Miller book (yes, I was obsessed with Henry Miller and Anais Nin in my twenties). One line that has stuck with me forever is this, and I paraphrase because I couldn't find the quote, "You don't need to be making to be an artist, you must only have the soul of an artist." For years, that idea stuck with me. In my moments of not making, whether it was physical artwork or writing, I could remind myself that I do indeed have the soul of an artist. It carried me through.

I hope some of this will carry you through, too. The journey is the destination, right? And, you are awesome.

20 comments:

  1. Hey, thank you. I needed this inspiration today. :)

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  2. As I've watched a lot of my friends find an agent and get published, I could have chosen to feel bad for myself that it wasn't me. But I don't see it that way. At all. It actually makes me hopeful that just the right agent is out there waiting to see my writing, too! I find it inspiring, and LOVE the fact that so many great writers are achieving their dreams all around me. And someday (hopefully), I'll be joining y'all! :D

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    1. It's fun to see our friends succeed and have their dreams realized. Here's to your dream being realized in its perfect time!

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  3. Whilst I hope my time will come I am excited to hear of others success. In a way it makes you believe it is possible. Writers are so supportive of one another that helps too :)

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    1. It is a great community. I've made such good friends through various writer groups. Creative minds are the best!

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  4. Great post, Jaye, and great links. I wish you the very best in your career, especially that you keep a healthy attitude whatever may come!

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    1. Hey Vero! Long time - hopefully I'll be back circling the blogosphere soon and stopping by to read your brilliance :0).

      Thank you - I'm hoping to keep a healthy attitude as well!

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  5. Ah, a feeling I understand. It is a fantastic thing to have a dream come true - but it is not without a few pangs of guilt and - at least in my case - a few moments of sheer panic. Life is complex that way.

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    1. Oh yes, the panic. That happened about a week after I found out the book had sold. Fortunately, that passed, though I imagine it might rear its head again at some point. :0)

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  6. Oh man, I've been on that precipice for so stinkin' long now!
    But seeing others make the leap and fly means there's still farther for me to go - in a good way. I don't think I would want to see every single dream come true, because then what would I dream about?
    But the published author thing, that can go ahead and happen. I'd be okay with that ;)

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    1. Yeah, but you seem to have that determination of spirit. So it's not "if" it's "when"! :0)

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  7. Your post is reminding me of something that happened yesterday at my in-person crit group. I found myself feeling all kinds of guilty... Love the links, may have to share those!

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    1. It's great you've found local writers in your new home! Weird how the guilt happens though. I think it's because we've been there and known the hunger of wanting it.

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  8. Thanks for this, Jaye. Sometimes while I'm cheering on other writers and celebrating their achievements, it is hard to be still plugging away.

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    1. I know it is Barbara - but I honestly believe persistence and perseverance are a big part of the equation.

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  9. Congrats!! And don't feel guilty, you worked hard to achieve what you have! Thanks for the links.

    Much luck with your writing goals!

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I'm Southern and half-Jewish, the guilt is just a natch unfortunately.

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  10. OH SNAP! I had no idea you got a book deal!!!! I'm so so excited for you:) You sound like me about the guilt thing, but you know what? You're right, you might have had the right time, things and place, BUT you you're also be an AWESOME writer and you deserve a big ole pat on the back! I am honestly so excited for you! Where the heck have I been that I missed this?

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    1. Really? Well, you were pretty involved in GUTGAA for like, forever! And you were moving, too! It's been so exciting. It happened really fast once the wheels started turning.

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