I’m taking a break from finalizing my agent list – about twenty individuals and from what I can gather, the best of the best that are willing to look at new authors – and freaking the fuck out.
I’m so emotional I’m almost in tears.
I think it’s in part that I want this so badly – it’s soooo important to me – that it’s overwhelming.
Actually, to be completely honest, the overwhelming part is fear and self-doubt of the generic “Am I good enough? Am I as good as these other people they represent?” variety.
Objectively, I think my story is amazing and I think it is well-executed…but the evil little voice likes to undermine with whispers and concerns of the million-dollar freak out question: “is the writing good enough?”
I suppose this is the crisis point for all of us at some point, be it personally, professionally, romantically, spiritually, or you name it. We all eventually run into a wall where we doubt our worth, and yet the polar opposite (an all-encompassing sense of entitlement) is even more unfathomable (not to mention distasteful).
I have to imagine even people who ‘make it’ or ‘have it all’ or just get damned lucky are plagued with the flip side of this equation: “Why me? What makes me worthy? Do I deserve this?” Isn’t that the whole nature of survivor’s guilt? Being plunged ad hoc into existential crisis and attempting to rationalize or understand why you lived and others died (and a subsequent self-imposed pressure to justify or substantiate your continued existence)?
As if life were rational…
(At the same time, did I survive something and forget about it, because I kind of feel like I’m suffering from a mean case of survivor’s guilt?)
Oh, to be a dog, where the philosophical self-loathing of worth, value, merit, and entitlement are non-existent.
My dog assumes you are as happy to see him as he is you and acts accordingly. And other times he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the person baby-talking or trying to engage him, and charges off toward the next smelly spot on the path without so much as an upward glance; it’s all zen to him. He isn’t the least bit concerned about how that might look or be perceived. (Unlike his apologetic owner who finds herself making half-assed explanations about his single-mindedness or interest in peeing on everything in a six-mile radius or otherwise feeling the need to explain why a dog has just done whatever he has incomprehensibly done.)
And the cat? The cat would laugh in your face if you asked him to justify his sense of self-entitlement. He exists. He purrs. He is beautiful. Isn’t that enough?
So that’s it.
And I feel a little better having talked about it.
I will return to completing the list and the letter will be tweaked and polished and sweated over and cried on and torn to pieces and carefully taped back together and hopefully arrive in some simplistic, beautiful, compelling state that I’m okay with enough to send out tomorrow as planned.
And we’ll go from there.
Marching ever forward and ignoring the little voices that undermine and hesitate, because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!