When you finish a novel—or any long work—you arrive at a threshold. Who knows what lies on the other side? You’re not going to find out until you send your work out, and even then you might not know for a long time.
Thresholds are called "liminal" spaces in anthropology. This means they're ambiguous and disorienting. They are tremendously exciting and offer opportunities for enormous growth. But they are also dangerous, threatening, and scary.
In myth, the hero often arrives at thresholds to find someone blocking her way. A demon, a trickster, a mischievous goblin. This is the threshold guardian.
The threshold guardian’s job is to keep you from crossing into new territory or onto a new level. He tells you the way is closed. He forces you to solve an impossible riddle before you can cross. He tries to discourage or mislead you.
Threshold guardians come in many forms. The not-so-well-intended “friend” who keeps reminding you how hard it is to publish fiction these days. The jealous acquaintance who says he doesn’t think your work is marketable. The family members who give you every reason they can come up with for why you should be doing something other than writing novels.
But the most deceptive threshold guardians of all are inside our own heads. They’re called Procrastination. Doubt. Distraction. Fear. Anything that keeps you from moving forward, from taking that step into a new realm.
The mythic hero doesn’t let the threshold guardian get the better of her. She solves the riddle, slays the demon, fools the goblin, gets through that sacred gateway to discover what is on the other side.
That is where I am right now, lovely readers. At the threshold, my novel in hand. Facing a whole host of threshold guardians, each one coming from inside. Fortunately, I have my posse with me—wonderful friends and supporters, each there with blessings to give. And a whole host of weapons. Enough confidence to act as a shield. The sword-like discernment to cut through B.S. And the emotional black belt that comes from a lifetime of experience. I’m heading across!
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...