No, this is NOT an "I'm giving up" post. Absolutely not.
But I want to share an odd phenomenon, in the hope that perhaps it strikes a chord with you. Which will then offer me one of those okay-I'm-not-alone moments. (This is for those of you who have been pursuing publication for years. Not months--years.)
There seems to be a point--and I'm not quite sure when I reached it, exactly--at which the Dream doesn't feel real anymore. It's this sense of having wanting something for so long, having worked toward it and believed in it and imagined what it would be like when I finally got there for so many years, that it no longer feels like something tangible.
As though I've lost my ability to dream.
It doesn't mean I've stopped working--I haven't. It doesn't mean my goals have changed, or my tenacity has withered, or my emotional state has disintegrated. None of the above (thank goodness). But it does mean that I feel blank.
There's no other way to put it. I am as passionate as ever about my stories and my work and my desire to be published. I am as serious as ever in my pursuit of writing as a professional career. In that sense, nothing has changed.
But something inside my heart has died (or perhaps has merely passed out). And I'm not sure how to resurrect (or revive) it.
I think the key, of course, is to push through seasons like this. Otherwise, success will never come. So, yes, I'm pushing through. But the blankness is disconcerting, to say the least.
On the positive side, it helps me to stay in a low-angst place with submissions. Honestly, I am thrilled to be on sub with my newest project, and as thankful as I've always been for my agent (and his delightful assistant). But the stomach-dropping excitement, the lip-biting, the scribbled list of editors on my bulletin board so I can look at the names at a glance--it isn't happening. It's just business as usual. And that's not all bad.
Still, it bothers me that I can't visualize my dream any more. I used to imagine what my release party would look like (I even spoke to a jazz-singing friend a couple years ago and asked her if she'd sing); I used to plan which bookstores I could hit in the Northeast, where my parents live; I used to dream of having lunch with Josh and my Sparkly New Editor. Sometimes these thoughts still filter through my head, but it isn't the same as it used to be. It's as though a fog rises up in my brain, obscuring the visions of Published Me. What once felt like a real possibility now feels like...well, nothing.
There you have it. I think I've maxed out on transparency and vulnerability this week. So please join me! Do any of you long-timers feel this way? Does your dream feel more like an illusion? Maybe if we remind each other that all things are possible, we can dispel the fog and move onward.
Hoping to hear from you today!