I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who works hard, makes strides and, then, in a flash, forgets about them, waves off the accomplishment and any sense of satisfaction that comes with it – and moves right on to the next thing.
Hah, call me perfectionist, Type A, Myers-Briggs ENTJ – call me a woman, call me human, call me The Little Engine that Could and Ann Can Fly – the protagonists of my favorite childhood books.
Heartbreaking, devastating to never do or be enough.
Today, I’m gonna bust outa’ that self-constructed cage and gloat. It feels uncomfortable just typing that word; so I’ll re-frame it as appreciation for all I have been and done over the last few creative months on this isolated, off-season island.
That was my strategy – to find a place so dull and dreary that Ramblin’ Anne would have few distractions. The strategy’s paid-off: I’m making fine progress on my ‘Big Beautiful Book Goals.’
This day-glow poster hangs over my desk as a reminder to, #1: write for the creative cathartic joy of it in hopes of touching and inspiring others.
I have been enjoying it. Next to peddling my bicycle or dancing zydeco, I am happiest when bent over my pages, in creative flow.
In the process of coming to the page every day, I’ve just about finished the third rewrite of Strings Attached: A Memoir of Music, Marriage and Escape. Wow, I never thought cutting the fat out of my story would be so painful, yet so satisfying. By killing the darlings, the essence of the story is revealed. I have begun to see the shape of thing I’ve been constructing for, ahem, decades.
Believe it or not, writing the book is not enough; if you want it out in the world, you’ve got to sell it. And if you want to sell it, you need Sue Shapiro’s tough-love pitch class, “Instant Gratification Takes to Long.” After five weeks of zoom insanity, 100 writers crammed into Hollywood Squares on the screen, mock pitches and tough-love critiques flying back and forth, I got my 300-page life’s work boiled down to a few pithy line. Miraculous!
Then, on Saturday, I attended Pitch-O-Rama, a chance to try out my pitch live in seven X 5-minute agent speed dating sessions. Nerve-wracking, exhilarating, I walked away, at the end of the day, with a terribly sore back and requests from two agents to send my material.
Gloating! Celebrating! See, it’s not so bad.
But I’m not done. Here’s where the invitations come in…
The Grace in Love anthology launches Monday night at Politics & Prose. My essay, “Saudade Brazil aka Pineapple Blues,” won the editor’s prize and will be published in this anthology alongside the stories of a diverse and esteemed group of DC women writers.
Here’s another chance to celebrate!
Hope you can make one or ALL of the upcoming launch events…
Politics & Prose Connecticut Avenue, Mon May 1, 6-8 pm
Grill from Ipanema, Adams Morgan, Wed June 7, 6-9 pm
Sandy Spring Museum, Thurs June 8, 7-9 pm
For more info checkout this link: https://graceandgravitydc.com/index.html
So, dear friends, stepping back to take inventory, from time to time, sharing accomplishments with others – this turns out to a good thing.
I hadn’t realized all I had done on my island retreat. The Type A, ENTJ, I was on the brink of quietly deriding myself for not being more focused, for getting behind on my chapters.
But it turns out: I’ve done enough; I AM enough.
I can go out to the dock, now, and watch the sun set over the sound.