Always when I am at the beach, I’m reminded how big the world really is. Hearing the vast ocean crash and watching the horizon that stretches farther than my screen-weary eyes can see makes me feel tiny, like a speck. Inevitably I marvel at the scope of the universe, the secrets of space, the wonder of the sea, the size of the earth and it’s many continents—and more practically, the billions of people that exist. I am only the teeniest fraction of all that. This summer especially, I’m feeling inconsequential and left behind. This year has been huge for the Femmes. Many of these amazing writers have been offered contracts and are soon to be officially published. Yay, Ladies! So incredibly proud of you! So honored to work with you, and call you my friends! And yet, of course, I’d have to call myself a robot if I didn’t feel the inevitable tug of worry and doubt: what about me? When will it be my turn? It’s so easy to beat myself up: I don’t write fast enough, I’m missing a fab hook, I targeted the wrong places, I didn’t write to the market, I broke too many rules…
Of course, I’m making writing analogies as I sit in my beach chair, feeling smaller than ever. I am a speck, a grain of sand, one author among zillions, fighting against the tide. And any mention of a speck, brings me directly to the Who’s in Who-ville.
Like those teensy-weensy Who’s, I know I have to keep yelling to be heard (keep querying, keep submitting). I must plan and work hard (keep learning, write better stories), return to that megaphone again and again (hit that keyboard, keep producing words), enlist all the Who’s in Who-ville to help (critique partners, beta readers, agents, etc). Until finally, one day, rejoice, I will be heard (my book will be published, someone other than the Who’s will read it, even perhaps, pay money to do so). Maybe someday, those few first readers will tell friends and my megaphone will get a sonic boost, rippling out, making me feel a tad bit more significant, making my writing matter to someone other than me.
There’s no goal in this blog post. I’m not sharing in order to get any of you readers (or Femmes) to stroke my ego or pat my back or add salty tears of sympathy to my beach margarita. It’s just that we Femmes talked recently about our various journeys. This is mine. This is where I’m at. The excitement of landing an agent and sending out submissions has faded with the tough work of keeping my chin up during rejections. The fun of free-flow writing continues to alternate with butt-kicking revisions. My overall faith in my abilities takes nose dives but always resurfaces like the dolphins, arching over the waves that wallop me now and then.
I might feel small-ish, facing the ocean, battling the weather that comes along with the pre-pub journey, but, I know, I really do, that if I persevere, my time will come. So I will keep on yopp-ing and sounding my bazooka, too. My Hortons will hear me. We’ll build a bigger, better megaphone together. I’ll still be a speck-ish grain of sand in this huge world, but hey, I’ll be sitting on that beach—or a clover—with a contract in my hand and a giant smile on my face.
As always, thanks loads for reading. A fun question today, to lighten the mood: in that handful of sand picture, do you see what I see?