Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am feeling very out of sorts this week. My world seems to be in flux, and I can't quite catch my balance. I find myself taking deep breaths... apparently I'm forgetting to breathe properly.

Boss Man at his new school, Snuggle Monkey in his new kindergarten group, the end of summer and the start of a new school year (for me) just around the corner. News that one of my closest friends will likely be moving away.

Writing-wise, I have a non-fiction PB manuscript that is finished and ready to submit, and a magazine article that is similarly ready to go. But I feel as though I'm standing on a precipice. I just can't seem to make myself jump from the safety of what was to the unknown of what comes next.

I have every intention of submitting these things before I start teaching next week, but I can't seem to make myself do it. I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps its the security of knowing it can't be rejected if I don't send it. Perhaps it's just too much in a week filled with emotional turmoil.

I know the rejections will come. I know they are a part of the business of writing. And I'm okay with that.

So how do I get through this week of transition? I suppose the best way to start is to take another deep breath, polish up the cover letters, and head over to the post office.

How do you deal with uncertainty? 

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(And did you enter my contest? Ends Sept. 1!)


  1. I eat a little chocolate and curl up with a good book until it passes! Usually a great novel (and of course, the happiness from chocolate!) inspires me to attack whatever I'm feeling doubtful about and keep moving forward.

    Good luck!!!

  2. I like the chocolate idea and definitely anything with plenty of fat globules to glide over your tongue. In fact, I just opened a bag of Lorenz Naturals (leicht 30% weniger Fett) potato chips to lubricate the answers to your creativity questions (which I'm really enjoying by the way - both the opportunity to reflect and the chips). We must have talked about this at some point, but it made me think of it again and is always a good mantra (I actually emailed it to another friend just a few days ago as she was relating to me her angst about having to job-search at the end of the year - she works in development and taking on short-term contracts is sort of part of working for non-profit). From David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear: "...fears rise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently recurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution. Consider the story of the young student...who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months' practice, David lamented to his teacher, 'But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers'. To which the Master replied, 'What makes you think that ever changes?' That's why they're called Masters. When he raised David's discovery from an expression of self-doubt to a simple observation of reality, uncertainty became an asset. Lesson for the day: vision is always ahead of execution - and it should [italics] be. Vision, Uncertainty, and Knowledge of Materials are inevitabilities that all artists must acknowledge and learn from: vision is always ahead of execution, knowledge of materials is your contact with reality and uncertainty is a virtue."
    Uncertainty is a virtue. Uncertainty is a virtue.
    So are these potato chips - man they're good. Kaiser's also has them in 30% more fat, paprika and I think balsamico too. Have a GOOD virtuous day! F

  3. Laura: Thanks for the good wishes. Chocolate and reading do seem to help.

    Fong: The quote is priceless and incredibly timely. Thanks! (I'll have to check out the chips next time I'm at Kaisers.) :)

  4. You also can't be accepted if you don't send it out. It's a great piece - now send it off into the world..

    Easy for me to say, I know, since I'm not there yet.

  5. Thanks, Julie! I'm working on the cover letter. I hope to send it out next week (looks like I'll have to revise my self-imposed deadlines a bit). :)

  6. This post is so timely to me. I feel the same way right now! I'm working on a memoir that is so intensely personal (about my son's rare genetic condition)that I really don't know if I want it out there or not. Of course I do, but... When I feel this way, I talk to my good friends. The ones who get me as a person and as an author. They tell me that they sympathize/they understand/I need to suck it up/I can do it. They believe in me when I don't believe in myself. And bolstered by their confidence, I, too, take a deep breath and head to the post office. You can do this. It's all right to be uncertain...for a little while. And then jump.


  7. Thanks, Mercedes. I needed to hear that. :)

  8. I had been ignoring it and hibernating. Ugh. Not a great way to deal with anything. But I guess it is what it is. Good luck on breaking through your own.

    BTW, congratulations on being ready for submission! that rebel, Olivia

  9. Olivia: I think there are times when we need to hibernate. It gives us time to collect our thoughts and work through the uncertainty.