food for thought

failure at some point in everyone’s life is inevitable,
but giving up is unforgivable
catherine biden
in september of last year, i attended a blogging conference in dallas, texas. it’s about a four-hour drive from here–a northern suburb of houston–to there. i’d meant to leave at about ten that morning so that i could get to the hotel around two, get checked in, wander a bit and make myself presentable for cocktails. but my car’s stereo decided at eleven, when i was finally ready to hit the road, to stop working. and it took two hours and a couple of hundred bucks to get it replaced.
i liked the display on my old stereo better. i’m not one of those gals who has to have the top of the line in electronics. my iphone, for example, is two years old–a four with three-g service. and yes, sometimes i wish it were a little faster, but it does what i need it to do. it works. when it stops working, i’ll replace it.
my car stereo? i’d been using the factory one for seven years. the new one? it’s got one of those digital displays that flashes the name of the song being played. but when i’m listening to a cd, more often than not, it can’t display the title. instead it reads: FAILURE.
i see this a lot in my daily travels. i’ve thought this a lot in my life. i am a forty-year-old, single, childless woman who resides with her parents because she can’t support herself.
in the past year, i’ve gone on two dates. two. with different guys. the first? he showed up forty-five minutes late and split the check. the second? he wined and dined me. swept me off my feet. blindsided me. and then he disappeared.
i work a part-time gig as a sales associate. when i find the confidence to apply for better employment, i’m denied the possibility of an interview. i don’t even get a reply for having submitted my resume. but these, ultimately, these are not the things that concern me the most.
maybe i’ve given up when it comes to love and life. but my worth, my talents… they’re tied to my craft.
i sat here at this bar this morning with a copy of my manuscript–a collection of personal essays, many of which have been posted here–and an issue of writer’s digest that featured agents seeking new authors. i looked over the list. i googled how to write a book proposal for a nonfiction piece.
and my heart sank. because i wondered why anyone would care about this. my blog’s not got a great following. i don’t get thousands of page views per day or dozens of comments on each post. and these are the sorts of things that would convince an agent to read more than a few pages of your work.
i shut off my laptop. i closed the magazine and the binder containing my manuscript. and then i got out my pen and paper. and i wrote.
because this is what i do. this is what brings me happiness. this is where i succeed.
have you got a quote you love? something that’s touched you?
made you laugh? gave you strength? i’m looking to do a series
come november and am in need of guest posts.
the more the merrier. email me if interested.

One response to “food for thought”

  1. Oh, my. It hurts me to know you think about yourself and your life like that at times. I won't act like I know the details of your circumstances, and I would be mad if someone did that to me. But what I am so, so sure of is that you are a gifted writer. You have such an obvious talent. You're doing something so different on this blog, and you know what maybe that's why you're not getting thousands of page views. But I guarantee you that the page views you are getting are readers that actually care about what your communicating, even if they don't say it. So many bloggers are alike and they only follow blogs just like theirs. And that is their loss. I am not trying to give you a fluffy pep talk, I just have to you keep doing what makes you happy, but believe me, I think you are so worthy of being published!

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