“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?”
– Thomas Merton
It has been a while since I posted. I feel like I need to explain myself, so I will. I did, with intent, step away from posting for a month. As anyone who’s begun work on post number two will tell you, creating these things ain’t easy. I needed a break from the grind of a weekly post. Mostly though I needed to free up and direct my mental energy elsewhere.
I have at long last begun working with an editor for Ironjaws and have found a cover artist to re-design the cover of Tripio.
The search for an editor took a while. The vast majority of us are doing this by the seat of our pant and alone. I mean that no one has been pounding on my front door asking to help me on my next novel. No one is texting me offering to reboot Tripio‘s cover. I have never logged into WordPress and found that someone has ghostwritten a post for me. To make matters worse, the distance from my couch to this chair where I write had become a long, treacherous and terrifying abyss of several feet.
Then there is that irritating work week. It gets in the way too. Plus, there’s eating and sleeping and feeding the cat. I am not making excuses here. Just establishing that we are most likely in this same boat when it comes to making time for everything we have to do along the way. Which includes getting to things that do matter to us. One doesn’t’ have to be blogger or writer to know this. It’s daily life.
I have been unhappy with the cover of Tripio for at least a year now.
I have wanted to get another, second book on Amazon for almost a year now.
During that vaguely described period of time, it must be noted, I did have a couple knocks on my door. For a brief moment as I stepped towards the door each time, I felt sure it was someone from a Big Five publishing company dropping by. But no. Once it was a Spectrum guy. That other time it was a guy handing out religious pamphlets (not Merton, btw).
It took a little more time (that word again) before I gave up hope. I have finally taken action. Over the last week, I have started, as I mentioned above, working with folks who will help me accomplish things that matter to me. I had an hour Zoom meeting covering the cover on Wednesday. I submitted a 1633-word except from Ironjaws on Tuesday. The cover is a way off still and I have no clear idea what it will look like. I am not sure what the editor to be will think of Ironjaws. But way before the process is complete on both, I know I have made the right choices for both.
Is this guy nuts? How can you know you like the car if you haven’t even driven it? How can you know you’ll like the new vanity in the bathroom until it’s installed?
Easy. Conclusions like these are simply a result of how well we know ourselves. Can and will a new blue car make me happier than the green one? Can and will a bathroom vanity that opens to the right make me happier than one that opens to the left? No. Of course, they can’t.
Will an editor destroy Ironjaws. No, they don’t’ have the power to. Will the new cover of Tripio ruin my day when I see it? No, I won’t allow it to. In short, this world isn’t about me. I feel like I have an obligation to adjust to it, to give it some of me, and not take from it what I want. Sounds crazy but it has a way of clarifying the decision-making process.
And -Yes, I did have good reasons for not being able to get to these two important projects. But I think there was an element of fear there too. Fear of what would happen, of what would people think. These fears took the form of resistance to undertaking the projects. That form, in turn, manifested itself as me on the couch watching college football’s “Bowl Mania”. I’m not saying it happened overnight, there were 38 Bowl Games to get through, but once I let go of those “what if” fears, the abyss from couch to chair seemed like just a couple steps once again.
Tags: book covers, editors, fear, the writing mind, thomas merton, Writing novels