I Write. Dogs Eat Vomit. We’re Not So Different After All.

I love writing, but sometimes I wonder if writing likes me. Writing is the vomit and I am the dog. I go back to that part-saliva, part-stomach acid, part-whatever I ate from the yard, and lick it off the floor. It’s delicious and I can’t help myself. Writing is the constant tension between feeling completely inept yet strongly compelled to write. I love it. I hate it. It gives me a surge of adrenaline and it makes me feel like an idiot. Aside from stripping buck naked and standing on a stage in front of my friends there is nothing more exposing than writing and sharing it with others.

Despite all discomfort writing is essential to my life. Without it I have a hard time processing my emotions and frustrations. Not writing makes me feel like I am retaining water. I’m puffy and swollen, my skinny jeans feel skinnier, and I’ve got a metaphorical muffin top.

I have been working on a book proposal for several weeks. It is to the point where its good enough to start querying agents. If I waited for it to be perfect then I would submit it in my grave.

Perfectionism is the death of risk and creativity—suffocating it in a blanket of excuses.

Sending the proposal left my heart in my throat and knots in my stomach. My heart, my soul, my passion are all injected into those pages. My dreams are in each letter. Every thought is an expression of my soul. It is part of me and now I am sending a part of myself to some stranger on the other side of an email address. They don’t know my experiences. They have never met me and I am supposed to convey why they should believe in something I have struggled to believe in for over a year. Somehow this email will suddenly make it click. This person will see the nuance of my words and my concept.

With each email sent I said goodbye to a little part of me. I hope it comes back positive, but I am prepared to get a lot of bad news before I get a little good news.

I check my email too often. Waiting like a teenager who sends a note to his high school crush wondering what box she would check.

Yes?

No?

Maybe?

Not a chance in hell?

I waited excited and giddy—Horrified and nauseous.

I prepare myself for a “Thanks, but no thanks” email. I’ll take it if it comes, but, it would be nice if it came easy just this once.

Finally, I check my inbox and there is an email from a prospective agent.
“Yes!” I think to myself. At least I know the email address worked. That is some consolation regardless of the content of the email.

Declined.

Thoughtfully declined at least.

I have no idea what the future holds for me as a writer. A life of “Dear Diary” entries may be the extent of my authorship. Maybe my grand-kids will find all of my writings in notebooks and files on my computer.

Still, I must write. To not write is to not do what my heart and soul compels me to do.

To not write is to abandon part of who I am.

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