Now that she had nothing left to lose, she was free. – Paulo Coelho
I suffered a big disappointment recently in my writing pursuit. The kind that knocks the wind out of you. The kind that makes you take a step back and reconsider your entire approach. Well, let’s be honest, first it might make you lay in bed longer than appropriate and feel very, very, very sorry for yourself.
But then, what are you going to do? Quit? Sure. That’s an option. That’s always an option. And maybe it’s healthy to know it’s an option. I could quit writing, or at least writing with the hopes that my words will be printed and bound with a cover I imagine to be designed by my very talented friend, Ashley Turner [www.ashleyturnerart.com].
I found I really only have two options: work harder or quit. And let’s face it. The only option is really to work harder. No one cares if I quit, because no one is watching. That’s what I tell myself anyway when I worry about embarrassment or shame during this process. No one is keeping track of my hits and misses but me.
My “No one is watching” mantra is not the type of thing that brings everyone peace. Hananah, on the other hand, needs people to be watching to stay motivated. (This blog, for instance.) She’s the type who puts herself up for possible public humiliation as a tool for keeping herself accountable. And hey, it’s working. She’s killin’ it. Though that’s not necessarily the method that keeps me motivated, this blog does serve a purpose for me. One of confession.
I don’t like how embarrassment or shame can trap you. I hate the feeling of being afraid of the truth. Somewhere along the way, I discovered the power of confession. You would think it was during my Catholic rearing, but this isn’t the case. It was somewhere in my twenties I found how freeing it could be to say, “Yeah, that happened.”
So, I have a confession to make: I failed.
I tried for something that was important to me, and I failed. It was a big disappointment, and now it’s over. From here, what do I do?
Well, I wrote a story. I’ve sent it to Hananah for review. (I’m still waiting on feedback…eh hem. But, I know I’ll get it!) I’m gearing up for the next story. I already know what I want to write, because I have a book idea. A short story collection. Ok, shoot me. I know, it should be a novel, but it’s not. It’s just not. Confession: I’m writing a collection of short stories. I confess it.
So in this challenge, where am I? I am writing a book. THAT, my friends, is the best thing that could have come out of this blog and challenge. I’m writing a book that I am excited about. That I want to write. That I can write and will write despite other disappointments and failures. In fact, because of them. As the Coelho quote helped me to understand, with nothing left to lose, I am free.