Thursday, July 22, 2010

Climbing the Mountain and Facing Fear

My kids have been on my case lately. I think they're tired of my stressed-out attitude. To take my mind off of my worries, we've been having some adventures. Now, with little ones, an adventure can be as small as a walk to the park. But when your kids are 13 and 20... well... they expect a little more out of the experience. Today we took a break from the lake, tennis, movie marathons and short hikes behind our house for a larger-scale endeavor. This rock is known to the locals as "Thinking Point" and it's a steep 30 minute hike to get there.

I hate to admit that I'm not in very good shape. I'm going to be coaching in less than a month and I need to get my ass in gear! "Are you okay mom?" The kids asked as we hiked. "Yep," I said, panting just a little. "You wanna quit?" They asked. "NO." Was I tired? Sure. Was the thought of a cushiony couch a welcome distraction? You know it! But I signed up for an adventure, damn it, and I wasn't going home until I'd climbed to the top of that rock.

To say I've been distracted, cranky, and a bit crazy lately is an understatement. Being on submission is a million times more stressful than querying, and this week, the stress really caught up to me. "Are you okay, now, Amanda?" My agent asks. "Yep," I type back, embarrassed for the neurotic email I sent her. "You wanna do those revisions?" My crit partners ask. "YES." Am I worried about my subs? Um, yeah. Was the thought of editorial notes and further revisions a frightening thought. Yes, yes, and YES! But I signed up for this adventure too, damn it, and I'm not turning back until I see that publishing contract in my hands.

When we got to the top of the rock, I walked out to the very tip and took this pic. The red dot on the road is my car. As I looked down, I had that moment of fear where your breath stalls in your chest and your limbs just absolutely refuse to move. One misstep and I'd be a goner. Just like my submissions. One plot point, one similarity to another book on their list and my hopes and dreams tumble to the spiky granite below. But when I took a step back and looked at the magnificent view all around me I realized that the fear was worth the reward. The hard work hiking the steep trail, the vertigo, all of it was worth the view.

Just like my journey to publication, the hours spent writing and re-writing, editing and revising, refusing to quit not matter the rejections has been well worth the journey so far. I'm standing on the edge of that virtual cliff right now, my breath stalling in my chest as I wait. But I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It might be next month, or next year before I hear the news I'm waiting to hear. Until then, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the beautiful view.


Sarah Bromley said...

Great pics, Amanda! Like climbing, writing's a hell of an adventure, eh? I know you can reach your goals.

Kat Harris said...

It looks like a difficult journey, but one that's well worth it.