– Full of it (you can add the sh if you wish)
– Stupid or
– Getting it?
I have a hard time knowing. As well as what the difference is.
I have been wrestling with that question since Saturday after a meeting with a highly respected editor who reviewed my book proposal. Right after the meeting, I was bouyed. Just before, someone told me she would be straight forward, which is what I said I wanted.
Basically, she affirmed my gifts of language, image and even content, but said I needed to focus on ONE thing. So why am I somewhat distressed now?
This morning at the gym, I discovered the toilet was clogged as I was flushing, so had to beg another, dressed, exerciser to go to the front desk and ask for a plunger. That simple experience came capped with a little red flag wavering: pay attention.
I was mired down, asked for help, received the proper tool, used the tool and corrected the situation.
Isn't that similar to my experience with the editor? I brought my book to the point I could, sought help and was given the tools to "fix" it. Why is that still deflating?
Honestly, maybe because deep down I wanted her to say, "We want your book right now, as is, without your having to do anything. This is wonderfully fresh material no one has ever thought of and you are so brilliant in your use of language and images. This is certain to be a best seller and make you fantastically rich."
What I got was: you are talented, your book has potential, but you have more work to do. It's the more work to do that gets me.
I am sick of the work of this book. I hadn't been until this conference. It's not supposed to be work. Because of its spirituality, I want it to be joyful, creative and fulfilling.
And yet I realize this is all part of the journey, my journey, the book's journey. Just as the book isn't ready, maybe I'm not either. The thought has crossed my mind as I prepared the proposal, outlining all of the marketing and promotion I was prepared to perform. It was a long and exhaustive list. Too much even for the editor. "Give me 5 things, not 25," she said. "When you try to be all things," she added. "you're nothing," I finished.
I am beginning to realize the book is not only about my life, it is or, at least, symbolizes my life. It's one of my mirrors as my husband so graciously put it this morning.
So when I look in the mirror what do I see?
Someone fighting pain regularly.
Someone with more ideas than energy to complete them.
Someone who often feels outside of the mainstream.
Someone struggling to balance her role of mother with that of herself, wife, artist/writer, productive member of society, neighbor, friend, nurturer, Quaker, daughter, sister.
Someone who needs to simplify. To take the plunger and push the waste away.
• What's clogging my life?
• Where may I find the tools to unclog it?
• Is it something I must do or seek assistance?
• What am I ready for at this moment?
• What am I pushing for that isn't right, right now?