Monday, July 1, 2013
Granted, I was uncaffeinated and the morning was one of those hot, hazy ones that signals summer is here to stay, but still!
I'm so rarely at a loss for words that I didn't know what to do. I started one post and then deleted it because it wasn't flowing wordfast and poof my window of time elapsed and it was time to take Child #2 to swim team practice.
In lieu of hanging out poolside and watching my progeny swim like fish, I opted for a run.
What better way to wake up both mind and body, get the creative juices flowing. Sort of multi-tasking at its best, which means it should practically have my name scrawled all over it, big and bold like indelible hot pink Sharpie markers.
I plugged in my headphones, deleted the Selena Gomez songs added to my running playlist courtesy of Child #1, and was off to run the streets of Portlandia. It was great for two blocks.
Then a 'For Sale' sign caught my attention, the uneven sidewalk caught my toe and I skidded across the pavement to land in a big uncaffeinated lump in the cushy grass of a parking strip.
Blood was dripping down my elbow. I had a moment where I wanted to sob like one of my kids, but instead I picked up a leaf and used it to blot the blood while assuring the group of concerned bystanders who'd gathered out of thin air that I was just fine.
No one left.
I realized no one was going to leave until I made a choice. My options were either limp back to the swim club in defeat or finish my run and so, of course, I opted for the latter. After all, adrenaline was already pumping so I figured I might as well put the whole fight or flight thing to use and actually fly (or run at a medium-slow pace, as the case may be).
As I ran, it struck me that running with a bloody raspberry on my elbow isn't all that different than writing after rejection. In fact, I finished my four miles in record time. Likewise, past writing setbacks that tossed me into a metaphorical pile on the ground have forced me to dig in. Instead of limping away to do something else, those rejections push me to find better words, tighter plots and more developed characters.
It's a good realization. Particularly right now.
I'm at a point in my career where doors that used to be closed are sliding open. Instead of thinking everything will be fast food instant and easy, it's a reminder this is just another step.
There will be more rejections. It's practically the only thing guaranteed in a writing career, but when they come I'll look at my elbow and remind myself to dig deeper.
One last thing, in case Life happens to be reading today's post, I'm a writer. I get metaphors! In fact, I'm extremely comfortable with them. Next time you're in the mood to send me inspiration, don't feel the need to be so literal.