Have you ever been to those public swimming pools that have two diving boards? One is the kiddie-board, a reasonably easy jump that gives you the same results. But then there is the other ladder, the big one, usually with the longer line, where only the most intrepid adventurers dare to go. Both diving boards get you in the water but one involves greater risk, larger thrills and general pea-in-your-pants excitement.
A little more than a year ago I took a leap off the high dive and plunged to the bottom of the publishing world. I’m an Indie author, in case you weren’t already aware of this important fact. Before you write me off and label me with associations you’ve garnered from others of my kind, you should know a few things. That first and foremost, I am an authoress. I write under a pseudonym. I also happen to be obsessed with movie scores (Hans Zimmer’s “Man of Steel” album rocks!) and all things fantasy.
By early morning I am a personal assistant to a therapist in the big city. Late afternoon rolls around and I change into sweats for preschool duty, where I look after a small bushel of infants every day. Believe me, it is as intensely, sweetly albeit maddeningly difficult as it sounds. Evening ushers in my favorite time of the day and that’s not only including time with my boyfriend. It’s the time my creative juices come to life and the stories come a-calling. Night is when I come alive and forget the dredge of the day or the snot I’ve accumulated on my sweats. I check e-mails and network and write like my life depended on it, like I was already making my living off of it.
But here’s the kicker.
You may yourself have aspirations to a literary career, but always remember that when you take a leap off the high dive, you have to swim to make your way up. Learning to swim may involve a little struggle, more for some than others. Water is going to get in your mouth and make you choke at times. And you shouldn’t expect to start doing laps like a dolphin, unless you’re Michael Phelps. Swimming takes practice and dedication to reach the other side of the pool. Like most serious writers, I don’t just want to swim, I want to glide.
So I’ll keep on working as many jobs as I have to, even if the pay is mediocre, because it’s allowed me to live out my dream. I’m willing to sweat, cry and maybe bleed a little along the way, not so I can publish more books. These days, anyone can publish a book on Amazon, it seems. But I want to reach out to people and somehow make a lasting impact, to grow in my craft until I’ve mastered it. And after I master it, I’ll continue learning until my eyes can’t see and my hands shake when I type. If we aren’t all using Trekkie touch screens by then. I know I’m not the only one to have noticed Apple seems intent on mimicking science fiction technology. Shout out, fellow nerds and nerdettes!
Once you dig past the eccentricities you’ll see I am a human being, not a machine bent over painstaking rules, not even a flake that publishes because she’s enamored with her own brilliance. I’m just me, like you are you and we’re all people struggling to find meaning in our hum-drum lives. Also, if you happen to be like me, you might be working three + jobs to make ends meet, in search of a greater calling, an attainable dream.
Now that you’ve forgiven me for prattling on about myself, I’d love to get to know you. Because we all have a story and as Rapunzel sings in Disney’s Tangled, we all have a dream. Show me yours and over the following weeks, months, years I’d love to share mine. In fact, let’s make a pact right now to hold each other accountable, to never give up. And if one of us sees the other struggling to swim in that deep end, let’s reach out a hand and lift each other up. Pinky swear? Fantastic!
Are you ready to dive? Let’s do it together… One, two, JUMP!
I’m a fresh voice in a sea of 80’s hair band concerts. Like you, I’m learning every day that just because I’m young doesn’t mean I’m invincible. I just passed my twenty-fifth birthday, which allows me to look back on my early youth with an amusedly jaded perspective. And it’s old enough to realize how much farther we still have to go. I look at my life today and wish I could skip a step and leap into the next ten years of my life, hopefully after I’ve figured it all out.
But when do we “figure it out” really?