You remember spending a mad forty-eight hours packing and ironing and running all the errands. You are not sure you ate, however you know beer was involved. Clearly, you remember packing up the car and shoving all four kids into it. You remember getting on the road and hitting up a gas station. But after that, things get dicey.
The battery light went off on the dashboard. The car died and was jump started, leading to a sweaty drive across town with the A/C off. Things get even more hazy as there was a tense discussion about what to do next. There is a vague memory of holding a flashlight so your husband could tighten a blot on your newly bought alternator and at one point you remember standing in an auto shop holding a dirty battery whilst wearing mix-matched socks and crazy eyes.
Then, there was thunder and lightening and a flash flood warning that reached across three States. Suddenly, you wake up. You are living out of a suitcase, but you are home. You are hungry and a bit confused and you decide the best thing to do is not eat for a few days.
Because that's what makes sense. Am I right?
As last weekend unraveled right before my eyes, I realized how similar it was to the last year of my life as a writer. As I have struggled to take myself seriously and find the diligence and fortitude needed to keep myself moving forward, I realized I have two options on this road to publication:
A. I can beat myself up over being derailed.
B. I can accept it and move on.
For so long, I have been beating myself up. Unhappy with my pacing and focusing on the derailments, I have stalled. Life happens. It just does. There are many detours that will come along. But that does not mean we cannot continue forward, it just means we must be even more determined than before.
As this month of hard work and many a sleepless nights comes to an end, I am determined to keep my eyes focused forward, not on some obscure end result, but on the task at hand. One baby step at a time.
The task at hand, my friends, is to query. However, this time I realize the real challenge is going to be learning from the rejections, moving forward, and trying again.
Because in the indelible words of The Shins: