Sunday, March 7, 2010

Face It, Kiddo

Can you give up on anything if you’re still alive?

That girl who sang in the shower couldn’t sleep at night unless the ideas that had filled her head all day were on paper. That woman who woke up in the hospital hadn’t written more than a grocery list in years.

I had given up on my dream; my way of understanding the universe. Partly because writing had become really hard for me and mostly because I lost confidence.

There comes a point, at least I thought so for a few years, when you have to face reality. I finished a novel when I was sick, dressed it up and sent it out into the world. Not surprisingly, it was rejected. The feedback I got was disheartening.

“I just don’t love it enough.”

Vague and brutal. Obviously I missed the mark. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to figure out what the mark was, and after a few more rejections, I gave up. I knew the novel had to be re-written, but I didn’t think I could do it. I said to myself:

It’s gone.

You’re not that person anymore.

You might never be well enough to get it again.

And I started to believe those things. Really, I could barely think straight most days, so it made sense. I thought I had reached ‘face time’. As in, time to face the facts, kiddo. Grow up, start a career, get serious. Time to stop dreaming.

But life isn’t linear like many novels. Life is marvelous and unexpected and beautiful.

My life zig-zags and loops back, and at one point it was a series of random dashes. Writing was a myth when I didn’t have the brain power to create a clear sentence.

I’m slowly gathering the courage that I need to face the myth, because I won’t truly give up until I’m dead.

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