A lifetime of playing it safe.
That's what I have behind me. The journey from birth to where I am now hasn't been much of an adventure. I did go on an awesome cross country journey when I was 8, but ... I was 8. So, I was a passenger on my mom and stepdad's amazing cross country adventure. Sure, there was some fantastical moments. Being on the side of the cliff, stopped in a storm that had turned daytime into nighttime, thinking that was it, we were going to die, only to have the sky lighten again and find out we had been a mile from a passing tornado in Nebraska. I'd like to travel Route 66 sometime. But, I'm digressing. My life has been spent 'playing it safe.' People would never think to call me a 'risk taker'.
I just finished sending my 3rd query letter, synopsis, and writing sample to literary agents. I'm not stopping there. I read somewhere that I should do at least 80. Right now, I am focusing on those looking for the type of writing that I do, and people who accept electronic submissions via email because I'm at work and that's easiest for me to do. When I'm off, I'll make up some packets at kinko's or something to send via SNAIL MAIL!
I wish I could convey to you what it feels like right now. I feel nauseous, I feel scared. There's a tiny sprinkling of hope scattered in there. It just is a different feeling. Who knows if one of those 80-100 submissions that I plan to do will result in anything. Perhaps, it will be a pleasant learning experience, and I'll have a few rejection emails for my collection.
This could very well go no where. But, everyone says "you never know until you try." Well, I'm trying. I'm throwing caution to the wind and waiting to hear if I am finally going to be able to do what I love most in life. Write. Well ... I write now. But, will I get paid?! Man, I'd write even for a pittance. I'd still work full time and write write write. I'd be completely inspired to do so much more, believe me.
This took a lot for me to do. I've been thinking about it for awhile, I've been contemplating doing it for a few days and now ... I started the process. Writing is very private to me. Not private in the sense that I don't want to ever be published but ... once, a long time ago, someone stole my idea after I shared it with them and I will forever carry that betrayal in my heart. Showing my work to people felt vulnerable. Like, if I sent it in to someone, would they like it so much they published it in their own name? Good lord, that would be devastating. Since that aforementioned moment, I've kept my writing close to my chest. I'm possessive of it, and extremely protective. It was only recently that I let someone read something I wrote and ... the feedback was good. Whether that person was just being polite, I'll never know ... but, it reinspired me. I started writing even more than normal.
Right now, there is nothing I want more in life than to see my writing published, bound, hardbound or paperback. To see my name on the book jacket, to read the synopsis of something I created on the back. I think I would die and go right to heaven.
On a more serious note, if I find myself facing my maker in the near future, I would feel better knowing that I at least tried, instead of facing the end and wondering forever "What If".
So ... if you could say a prayer, rub some stones together, do a chant, knock on wood, squeeze a rabbits foot or whatever sort of luck sending method you desire ... I would really appreciate it. Perhaps you'll get a dedication from me someday in the front of the book.
This may not be the kind of risk you'd take, nor may you consider it even a risk at all. It's a major leap of faith for me and I am praying with all I might that something catches me on the other side.