"You can't cross a sea by merely staring into the water." - Rabindranath Tagore
Up until this beginning of this week, I had been staring into the water for a very long time. This whole blog began as a space for me to record the journey towards possibly (hopefully) getting a children's story that I had writtten published. Somewhere along the way, I put that on the back burner and my blog turned into the telling of other things, which was fine. A recording of family events, a funny story here and there; things of that nature.
But recently it was nagging at me that I'd let myself slip away from my original goal - the pursuit of publication for my children's book manuscript. The closer I got to the completion of the task, the more overwhelming it seemed and the more doomed I felt. There was a definite fear of failure that held me back from going any further- with my manuscript tucked safely into my laptop, there was no chance of rejection because it hadn't gone anywhere yet to be subject to that possibility.
So this past week I jumped in with both feet. I decided to push through the barrier in my life that I was feeling, and proceed with things I knew I needed to do. I joined SCBWI, the professional organization for children's writers and illustrators, worked up both a cover and a query letter to send to publishers, joined a critique group, and was more fulfilled and giddy than I've been for a little while. And yes, it required quite a bit of my free time this past week- Tuesday and Wednesday nights found me hard at work writing and revising and researching, but I got it DONE. Done, for me, is a good thing. I feel much more like the Snoopy up above now- hard at work, pounding those keys. Great feeling.
I'm proud of what I've accomplished this week, and I respect myself all the more for it. No, I'm still not a published author, and yes, my manuscript is still safely tucked in my laptop. But it's about to come out of there and enter the real world- the world where it can fail or stand on its own merit, the world that can be harsh and real and cruel if it wants to be about something I find to be a passion and a hobby. But that's a chance I have to take.
Let me ask you this- and I'd really love to hear from some of you - have you ever gotten stuck up against a wall of fear that inhibited your ability to proceed towards a goal? Did there come a time in your life where you were about to see if you could pass muster and it positively paralyzed you? Maybe you were like I was - afraid to find out if you really have what it takes to do what you really want to do. In actuality, that's a great place to be. Because it's where the rubber meets the road- where heart meets life. Fear not. Press on and do it.