Q: what's the best way to stop a thinking brain in its tracks?
A: offer it a new and enormous set of opportunities
I seem to be having this absurdly wonderful year. My editor tells me that they are ordering extra copies of the issue with my feature article, because the article's bound to irritate and educate. This alarms me slightly, but hey. There's a teensy bookish thing (nothing to do with the blog, never going to show up on amazon) that really seems to be happening (oh god oh god oh god) and there's a print deadline for the final copy (final? like, as in I can't change it once I hit 'send?' Cripes). And there's a tentative invitation to submit an essay for a collection - a yawn for the resume, but shriekingly new stuff for me.
Holy shit. Don't they know that I'm making it up as I go along? My editor listed me as a 'parenting expert' in something, and I nearly died laughing. Yeah, right. Then I got scared. I'm not fishing here - the label truly doesn't fit. What parenting expert yells at her kids like I do? I bet Ross Greene doesn't. But I digress: point being, I'm making it up as I go.
I comfort myself that I'm still small, small, baby potatoes in the world of publishing. Nobody really knows my name, I can write without the fear of someone pointing and laughing, it's okay. We're not talking fifteen minutes of fame here, we're talking friends and family and maybe three minutes, tops. One and a half, if they are related to me. That's okay. I can be okay with that. I can sit on my perfectionism long enough to be okay with that, long enough to stop trashing drafts and just hit 'send.'
But I seem to be inching past my margin of safety, and I had to shove myself forward to get this far. A column here, an article there - it was pulling mama-teeth to get them out, it was terrifying. Fear of failure? Ha. That's old hat. This is terror of failure, mixed with equal parts of terror of success. Because success, naturally, comes with the potential for even bigger falling on one's face. And yet, it's all so silly. You want a real problem? Real drama? It's not happening on my blog today.
Not that the perspective helps me any, mind you.
Happily, I now have writer's block. Drag that out another week or two, and it should handily slam a few of the open doors for me. Handy, that.