Dita Parker

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Working on a dream

I sit here writing, and freefalling. To the occasional observer spending a day at the beach and catching a passing glance, it may not be obvious whether I'm waving or drowning (cf. the poor soul in that Stevie Smith poem). Waving, my friends, waving.

I am fortunate to have a spouse who takes kindly to my aspirations. I have it easy, you say? No, I don't, actually. Any woman who wasn't married from her childhood home to the first man who asked (Hey there, Kev, it would've ruined everything, admit it!), who has led an independent existence before settling down, will tell you that it is a huge decision to let someone support you for any period of time. It has enabled me to get closer to where I want to be, but it brings up issues I suggest you take up and discuss thoroughly in advance, not suffer in grudging silence later on.

How could my husband stand for it, even for a little while? He knows what it's like to truly want something, work for it, and not have it fall on your lap, especially before you're ready to give it all you got. He has worked in fields that aren't easy to enter. They're also occupations where it doesn't matter who you know or don't know. What matters is how you do it, have you got it in you.

I don't have anyone to recommend me or help me make this sustainable. All the people I know in publishing or anything remotely related are people I came to know while getting my MA. People I consider close friends, people I have fun with. People who could not help me without risking me taking over their next project. Not that I probably could have; these are all professionals in their own right and successful in their chosen fields. They haven't offered, and I didn't exactly want their jobs or even to enter into the line of work they now excel in.

I wanted to write. No. I wanted to be a writer. Okay, so the former is a prerequisite for the latter, but you know what I mean. If you can't imagine it, it won't come. I wanted to think of myself as a writer, for a living, for life, introduce myself as one, not just as someone who writes.

I have support. I have tenacity. I have the chutzpah to say I have talent. If I don't believe in this, who else would? I know my strengths and I'm awkwardly aware of my weaknesses, in writing and life. I also know it's up to me to get this thing going, keep it rolling, keep learning and growing. Friends will be friends, and we'll keep it that way.

I don't want to shout to be heard, I don't want to strike out to reach out. I don't want to do things for show or effect. If that's what it takes, I might be in one humongous puddle of poo. I write to tell the truth; the emotional truth. You don't need to know more than that to decide whether I'm flunking it or dunking it. When I finally get that first story out. (I have a heaven sent editor who hasn't tired of my newbie questions and giddiness, yet.) When someone eventually reads it and rates it. Please tell me that's all you ask of me. That's all I ask of you.

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