If you're here today for the cheap laugh, this would be an excellent day to visit Engrish.com or damnyouautocorrect.com. That's where I go when I want to laugh hard enough to shoot Chianti out my nose.
Yesterday brought me an unexpected setback on the personal front, and I'm not feeling all that funny.
What I am feeling is inspired by the people around me.
Those familiar with my long road to publication know I'm not one to give up easily. I'll stay and fight long after most sane people would pack up their toys and leave the sandbox. Call it tenacity, call it stupidity, call it confusion about the appropriate time to throw in the towel. It's served me well on occasion, while other times I've realized I would have been better off watching Judge Judy reruns and contemplating whether my toenails would look better in Love Hue Tender or Saucy Sage.
Yesterday....well, it felt like the latter. Something I've been working on for over a year fell apart like a cheap sex toy that's lost its battery pack, and I was ready to toss the whole thing in the trash and buy a fern instead.
And that's where I found myself unexpectedly buoyed by the strength of others. (I was going to continue the metaphor here and say something about them digging the broken sex toy out of the garbage and sanitizing it with a healthy spritz of Come Clean, but I remembered I'm talking about people like my mom and my realtor and my literary agent and it seemed a little oogie).
What I've loved about these people who've come to my aid when I'm at the point of disconnecting my phone and hiding under the bed is that their cheers don't take the form of "you can do it!" platitudes. Anyone who's felt beaten down knows there's a point where encouragement like that just makes you want to smack the cheerleader in the face with a pancake turner.
But shouts of, "We can do it," or "Let me help," or "I'm proud of you for getting this far" – those are better than a good glass of wine and an encouraging butt pat when times are rough.
Well, maybe not better than the butt pat, but close.
There have been moments like this in every aspect of my life, from writing careers to relationships to real estate. Right when I'm ready to shove my sword back in its scabbard, someone – or several someones – will step forward and pick it up, ready to do battle.
(Feel free to insert your own awkward romance author sword metaphor here. I'll wait).
When new writers ask me for career advice, I know they're often seeking something concrete and simple to execute. Take this class. Read this book. Query this agent.
But in truth, the secret to getting through the inevitable tough stuff both as a writer and a human is to work as hard as you can for as long as you can while surrounding yourself with others who can pick you up when you're ready to lie down in the road like a squished possum.
Have there been times in your life when someone stepped forward to carry the baton when you were ready to stick it up someone's nostril and call it a day? Please share!
Oh, and for the record, Chase Mortgage is the devil. I just need to put that out there.