Publishing / Transition / Writing

Trapped in a Cliffhanger

Keyboard, you feel so damn good.

In the past couple of weeks, it feels like I’ve done everything that the West holds.

I crested the top of a Sedona cliff and looked straight over the edge–a huge triumph for a girl who had to crawl back to the family car on her hands and knees during our Grand Canyon vacation due to extreme acrophobia. P1010458 I had my future read by fairies.

I ate one of the best dinners of my life next to running water in, yes, Arizona.

My wheels spun up and down Route 66.

Absolutely unexpectedly, I wound up in Portland in a coffee shop owned by a wonderful woman I met at AWP, listening to an MFA cohort and my Hobart editor read, and caught up with a much-missed friend.

I got my hair done in my town without passing my house, knowing that the sight of a building I have a key to but cannot enter would splinter my heart into a thousand pieces.

I inhaled a double batch of the teriyaki that I’ve been craving for over a year.

I watched dozens of plates of sushi chug before my eyes and was paralyzed with longing.

I stayed in the most sexy-chic hotel in the hippest hood I can imagine.


I mean, just… come on.

I booked the best hotel of my life.

I booked the worst hotel of my life.

I abandoned my sweet Corolla Gwen for a brand new car named Iggy.

And all of this pales in comparison to the gargantuan possible life change that I’m waiting to hear a confirmation about.

What I haven’t been doing is writing.

I haven’t written much of anything in the last few weeks. It was getting to the point where the thought of typing was giving me hives. Even drafting an email has been filling me with dread. I vowed to write something, anything this long weekend, and here I am at West to West. I’m hoping it opens me up into something bigger; at the very least, it’s better than nothing.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s been choking me up. The runaround and busy-ness isn’t helpful. Neither is the agonizing gag order I have to keep on what’s going on. The uncertainty choking out the air. I’ve gotten a wave of rejections this last week, which normally don’t bother me, but one knocked the wind out of me. Do I even know what I’m doing? And so on and on. You need to not rely on validation in this writing world, but sometimes it doesn’t feel as though you’ll ever get your momentum back.

You do. You always do.

You just can’t stop.

Even when you don’t know what will happen in the next sentence in your life, or when your acceptance will finally arrive, or if it will, or if you’re doing it “right.” This is what we learn, over and over again, because we always seem to forget.

Thank you for indulging my moment back on the track, checking in and stretching my fingers. I hope to be less opaque and distant as soon as I can. In the meantime, I feel a draft calling me.