A little over a week ago I received the advice that I should not seek publication for my writing. This is depressing.
It’s not because my writing isn’t good–although that’s likely the case as well. It’s because the advisor thinks I can’t take negative feedback.
I moped around all last week with this piece of information. By Thursday (26 June) I decided the message wasn’t from God since it was making me feel so bad.
I’m certain I’m right about that, or at least partly right. I don’t believe messages from God make one feel bad unless one needs to repent–to change one’s course. But there is still something about the message that seems to have sounded the death knell of my desire to write. No, the death knell of my dream. My old dream.
Not many people know this, but at one time my husband and I attempted adopting two children (at the same time). After the adoption failed, I was advised not to make a second attempt–or any other attempt. This was one of the most difficult concepts to accept that I ever received. Yet, as the years have passed I’ve conceded that the advisor was probably right. I think my life is better having not been a parent and I think the lives of children are too. It’s hard to say because I know I would have tried my hardest, done my best, so I don’t really know how it would have turned out. It is what it is. I have parented puppies and they turn out great–so that’s what I’m good at and the potential for future (post-life) parenting is in place.
I’ve tried to be a dancer, an artist, a teacher. All without measurable success. I learned a great deal. I influenced some lives for the good. Hope I didn’t influence anyone for the worse–it was never my intent to do so. But other people, while applauding my efforts, didn’t like my art. I mean, I could tell it wasn’t terrific stuff. Dance–I started late and didn’t have the stamina to carry on with it for long. It was hard to say good-bye to, but it’s pretty much gone now. A teacher–it’s probably the thing I did best, but again only with mixed success. Never measured up to the dream.
I’m a dreamer. And the last of my dreams was to be a writer. Published.
Yes, I can be an Emily Dickinson (only not as good; even Emily Dickinson, I submit, was not as good as she could have been because, I surmise, of a lack of interaction with others–feedback, if you will. Nevertheless, I’m not a Dickinson scholar). I could stay in my house and paint my little paintings, write my little stories, read books, watch movies. But I have no dreams left.
As life’s end draws closer, I suppose one must come to terms with that. Did I live my dreams? Did I pursue them? Did I try? Did I do my best?
Weird, but I think I did.
Not that life is drawing to a foreseeable close, but still. Every now and then it’s worth considering.