As I write this, TMoTH and Mr 13 are watching I Shouldn’t Be Alive. I was going to go upstairs to my desk but both were reluctant for me to leave; I’m not especially sure why but it had something to do with wanting to spend time with ‘their girl’, which is worryingly sweet…. That however is not the point of this post.
On the screen, a team of men on their way to rescue some sailors find themselves in the middle of a perfect storm – and their helicopter is about to crash into the middle of the ocean.
“Get ready to jump,” one of them yells and within minutes they are in freezing cold seas battling hypothermia, major injury, and massive waves. They were cold, frightened, in pain and had no idea if they would be rescued.
I was struck by what an amazing analogy the situation presented for those moments in life when we take a risk or make a determination and have nothing to cling to except our faith and will power. Not for one second do I want to compare a career situation to what those men went through; it was more a recognition that if they could survive that massive storm, I sure as hell can survive my minor one.
I decided a few weeks ago that I needed to commit to my life as a writer – in whatever form that takes, be it fiction, no-fiction, reviewing, blogging – or I needed to walk away. As a the wonderful Kate Alexander once suggested “piss or get off the pot” (those words tend to strike a note when you hear them from someone as elegant and dignified as Kate – trust me). That moment was my moment of ‘getting ready to jump’.
The jump came when I set about committing – and yes there is an obvious joke here but how about we all ignore it. For now. I joined blogging communities, I joined writers communities, I increased my social media presence, I put my hand up to host book tours, I began reading more, I began reviewing more, and yes, I got the manuscript out, blew the metaphorical dust off it ( if only all the dust in the house was metaphorical too) and began typing more.
At times it feels as though I am indeed in icy seas waiting for the next wave to come crashing down on me and that what appears to be rescue lights in the distance is nothing more than my imagination. Then something happens. A review is well received by readers or I pick up an editing client. My badge appears on someone else’s blog or a publishing firm confirms a virtual book tour. I work out the next stage of my novel – or what to do with that non-fiction project that lurking at the back of my mind. My amazing sister surprises me with a beautiful teapot and a canister of my very favorite cinnamon and plum tea – hey life rafts come in a variety of styles…..
I suspect I may have to spend a bit longer in the water and there may be a few more waves to endure yet before I’m back on dry ground but I’m not worried. Well, not too worried – my life rafts are pretty sturdy.
We’ll get back to port …sooner or later.