Keep Working on Love (Blogger from Maine: link)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014
A ref friend of mine sent me this funny little poker chip in the mail the other day. “Free Pass” was stamped on its face. The enclosed note described how it was a part of an interactive art project, the idea being that everybody needs a free pass on SOMETHING once in a while.
But what on earth could I use it for?
I spent days thinking about this. I have a tendency to both work very hard and be very lazy. When I’m lazy, I give myself a hard time for not working harder. When I work too hard, I give myself a hard time for not being gentler with myself. (Being a Pisces isn’t easy.)
In the end, the Free Pass inspired me to do the exact opposite of what was intended: It got me to finally get some decent work done on the query letter for my books.
Writing about grief is hard, especially when it’s rooted in your own experience. Sharing that with others is difficult, but EXPLAINING it to strangers is excruciating. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for me for the last 42 days as I tried to both gather the courage and organize my thoughts to write this all-important letter so that I can take the next step toward getting my books out into the world.
Tonight, I felt exhausted from the moment I got home from work. I ate dinner and then sat on the couch watching TV and futzing around on the Internet. I read a little more of the book I’ve been reading. I was going to use the Free Pass to put myself to bed early (an exceedingly rare occurrence in my life), and I felt glad to finally have figured out what to do with it.
But then as I was passing that little orange disc on my coffee table on my way to bed, I was struck by an explosion of sentences in my head — an opening to the query letter that’s been plaguing me since the beginning of the year. I could have gone to bed. (Maybe I even SHOULD have.) But instead, I thought about how I’ve given myself ENOUGH free passes on this. Sometimes, it’s important to face the things that scare you, the things that are hard.
I just emailed my writing partner with my first and very incomplete draft of my query letter. And I haven’t felt this good, this accomplished in quite a long while.
I may not have used my Free Pass exactly as it was intended, but I think I got just about the best result I could have.