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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ MarianneWilliamson
I haven’t blogged for a while. I have been trying to work myself out of a writing funk of Biblical proportions. So what have I been doing about it? Well, I’ve tried to read my way out of it and have read some awesome and some not-so-awesome books, but awesome or not, I've learned a lot along the way. I’ll be blogging about some of those books in future days. Lately I have been putting my butt in my office chair and staying there for good chunks of time, working on stuff. I’m making some progress and feel the veil lifting, but I still don’t feel I have dispelled the funk completely. But I ran across the above quote recently and thought it was well worth repeating. I don’t remember where I saw the quote, but it resonated with me. I think there’s a lot of truth in it. I don’t know anything about Marianne Williamson except that she is a self-help lecturer. You can look her up on line if you are so inclined. But I like the quote and it’s helping me to stay focused on overcoming the funk.
I went to a writers’ conference in the spring and submitted fifteen pages of my second novel for critique. Unfortunately, it was about then my writing funk began. An editor at a big house read my pages and gave me great comments – very encouraging with some specific suggestions. She said she would like to read more! We could submit up to forty pages. Heck. This is a great opportunity. I had six months to submit to her. I spent a lot of time thinking about what needed to change, what was useful for my story, and what wasn’t. I liked most of what she suggested. I thought it would make my story stronger. But I was in a funk and had trouble working on it. I had a chance to workshop the opening five pages with some published writers and did that. Things got better and so did my story. I worked on it in fits and starts. I finally decided it was just about ready and spend a day polishing, trimming, adding, cutting, pasting, moving things around, and printed it and sent it with a lovely letter before I lost my nerve.
Did I wait a couple of days and give it one more careful read before I mailed it? No. I was done. Did I run it past my critique group one more time? Did I ask my brilliant daughter Maggie or my terrific sister Tudy, two wonderful editors, to read it one more time? Did I even ask my sweet Baboo to give it a quick look? No, no, and no. I sent it off and didn’t look at it again for a week…when I found the boneheaded mistake where I cut and pasted a sentence EXCEPT I forgot the cut part!!! So I had the same sentence beginning two paragraphs in a row. Did I do this unintentionally OR…is it just me being afraid of being powerful beyond all measure? Sometimes I wonder.
I now have an imprint of my keyboard across my forehead. This quite possibly could be a permanent condition. I haven’t heard back from the editor yet. I probably won’t for quite some time. If and when I do, I’ll post something here, but in the meanwhile, I have to wonder if I don’t sabotage myself sometimes in this business. So I’m going to be smarter about this. I’m going to always ask for others to give me some feedback before I send stuff out. I’m going to open myself up to the good advice and experience of my careful editors and critique partners. I’m going to be more patient and more careful and more persistent. So future submissions will be better and give me a greater chance for success. Maybe it’s time for me to let my little light shine. Thanks, Marianne, wherever you are.