November has been tough on all of us. I don’t know there’s a single person, I know, who wouldn’t agree with this statement. As many of you know, I’m a substitute teacher. I subbed in a 6th-grade science class the morning after the election and was disheartened to break up a fight between two boys.
The first boy came into the classroom cheering “Trump! Trump! Trump!” He turned and looked at a Hispanic boy and said, “Finally my president is going to deport your ass.” Before I could even respond the other boy stands up and says, “Maybe, but your president will nuke this planet and then you’ll die.” Yay for middle school…. not.
If you’re wondering, yes, I put a stop to the negativity and made it clear that any more talk would result in a swift punishment with the principle. I absolutely have no tolerance for bigotry or hatred of any kind. More than that, it broke my heart that I had to have this conversation with 10 & 11-year-olds.
At this point, what’s done is done. Whoever you voted for, supported, happy or sad over – it’s done. However, what matters now is bridging this divide and setting an example for the younger generations. I know that these kids are only mimicking what they see at home, but it doesn’t make it okay.
I didn’t start this blog with the intentions of being political at all. I’ve managed to hold my tongue and stay off of social media. But I guess it comes out eventually. Life goes on. We still have to wake up every day and go to work, feed our families, pay our bills, and for me, I still have to write.
So in addition to this small bit of political word vomit, I wanted to share with you a short blog post I wrote for my writer’s group. I hope you enjoy it. If you feel like checking out some of the other writer’s posts, I encourage you to look us up here.
Yesterday I finished the first round of edits on my new manuscript:
MOTHER NATURE MoNa.
I’m over the moon about this but what’s next is always the terrifying part to me… beta readers. Putting my life into someone else’s hands. After all, a book is hours of my life that I can hold in the palm of my hands. Someone I know said that once and It’s stuck with me ever since. I’m putting my work into the palm of a stranger and waiting for them to judge me fit or send me back to start again.
But also, it’s the only way. The only way to learn, to grow, to give my story a voice of its own. To let it breathe life and take flight. It can never be anything more if I don’t actually put it out into the world with a little bit of trust. A bit of faith that it will come back none the weaker, instead, stronger for having more eyes look upon it.
In my experience, this is the part of the writer’s journey that is skimped on. Fear takes hold and prevents the writer from the ability to grow and learn from others. To take criticism and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. The fear that their single edit wasn’t perfect. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t. In fact, you need five or six or twenty more edits before it’s perfect. Even then, you could probably go one more time. The reality is that you will never grow as a writer if you don’t put your book out there for others. I’m not talking about self-publishing. That’s a fine choice for some, but it doesn’t negate the fact you still need beta readers first.
So here I am. Waiting to be judged. Waiting to be told that it’s not good enough, hoping to be told it was funny, witty, emotional, anything other than my biggest fear – that I might not be cut out for this game. In the back of my mind, that little voice warns me not to even feed those fears. Because no good can come of it. So instead, I’ll wait. With hope in my heart. I will push on and start something new. Distraction is good and I have many stories to tell.