This was a weekend of confronting my secrets.
These were secrets that I knew but didn't speak aloud, not to myself, certainly not to others. Of course, one of them is about a cat and another is about writing.
Really, the one about writing is about insecurity, about fears that I'm not good enough, fears strangling me and preventing me from moving forward on a finished novel. I agonized over the next steps because I'm afraid the rejections won't just be, "No, thank you," but more along the lines of, "Oh my God, what is this mess?"
And the one about the cat, a beloved dead cat, is about coping with grief and getting over it. Part of me says, "My God, it was just a cat, move on already, you sodden moron." But another part of me said, "I don't want to do the yardwork because it's the starkest reminder of Scheckter's death." It's the argument of Spock and Kirk, logic and emotions.
Confronting either of my fears are about arguments of emotions and logic, fear and sadness against hope and logic. It's a matter of being human and I argue with myself whether it's an argument about will and fatalism. Shouldn't I believe in myself enough to find agents and submit? Shouldn't I be strong enough and have enough will and conviction to move onto the next phase of the novel publication process? Rejection will be a momentary sting but it's not a fatal sting.
I've endured all of this before. That's the foundations of my secrets, that these repetitive processes become soul-sucking and energy draining. If I allow them, they can become paralyzing. Confronting these secrets, I understand the humanity residing in them, the fear of failure to reach a dream in publishing, the loss of a friend, even a cat, because I live in relative isolation, a loner, partly down to my personality and preferences.
So I go out to the yardwork and stand in the sunshine, more like fall than winter, yesterday, cold and still on faded grass, surrounded by leafless trees and plants in hibernation. Breathing in, I search for the my Gingerbear friend on his mound where he ruled, scan the bushes for his orange pumpkin form, and watchful green eyes and white whiskers, trying to locate him, knowing he's not there. I listen for his conversational meow and await his trot to me, understanding that it's gone and can't be replaced or duplicated. I study, I think and I feel. The healing begins and I do yardwork and become satisfied in expending the energy.
With searching for an agent, I read through facets of others' lives and see so many stories where people didn't give up on themselves. Success, and even civilization is built upon the premise that we'll try and fail, regroup and try again after addressing the issues. Dig through the layers of our existence and you'll find evidence of how many times we tried and failed, but we flourish because we keep trying.
So, secrets confronted, I sat down at the computer last night with the admonishment, find an agent. Make a selection. Submit.
It really is not that hard.
None of it is.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com