I am a planner and a goal setter. I have always believed that if you make a list of things you want to achieve, they will eventually happen. Well, maybe not all of them, but some of them. About ten years ago my goal list for writing contained these items: 1. Get more poetry published 2. Start writing fiction again 3. Get fiction published 4. Get nominated for a Pushcart Prize 5. Appear in Best American Poetry 6. Win many prizes. 7. Get a poetry book published 8. Get a short story collection published 9. Write a novel 10. Get the novel published.
Yes, I was (and am) ambitious. I spent much time imagining that these things might happen. I had dreams about this list. Sometimes it seemed like I was walking across an endless desert. It was hot and tiring and I was thirsty. No end in sight, and at times, no point to this journey. But then in the distance I saw that old list. I kept walking because the list was within my grasp.
Yesterday I checked off number 4 on my list-- the editor of a small literary journal let me know my story had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Wow. I stared at that email in disbelief. I'm moving forward on this desert journey. Maybe those other remaining items won't ever get checked off the list, but I will keep trying, keep moving forward, keep looking at that list. I'll add new goals to that list so I will continue this journey. Today I just want to stare at that email and pinch myself.
Causes Maureen Sherbondy Supports
North Carolina Writers' Network, Temple Beth Or, North Carolina Poetry Society