balance and the book proposal

I attended a Hay House Writer’s Workshop which gave me the opportunity to have them review a proposal of my book.  Normally, one must have an agent to submit to Hay House.  I am agent-less.  I am not a pro at knowing all about how to get an agent, published, self published, or any of that.  I’m learning as I go, and I’ve yet to be in a hurry, as I know better than to make something I love into a grind.  Right?  Riiiiight.

I’m a writer because I love it, and I’m pretty good at it.  Yet, I’ve always, until recently, written for myself.  This book wasn’t intended to be for public consumption.  Until enough people read bits and said it should be, because it could mean a lot to a great deal of people.  Talk about heavy.  It’s not enough to jump the hurdle of going public with my work, no, there had to be an additional challenge, write something that helps people.  I would settle for being amusing.

A week away from the deadline, late at night, I got to the part where I needed to crunch marketing numbers.  I don’t know enough about this, but I shrugged, tomorrow I would discover all I needed.  Did I then go back to editing existing text?  No.  I started reviewing, (again), similar books when I unearthed one with a premise an awful lot like mine.  I scanned the authors credentials and saw that this writer has been practicing hypnosis for nearly as long as I’ve been alive.  Let me take a deep breath here, . . .  and she’s studied under, or worked with, some of the major names in this field.  Exhale.

My mood crashed.  How on earth could I propose a book when this person has already published it!?  I had a raincloud overhead as I put away my papers, and said goodnight.  My man followed, trying to make me feel better.  He used logic, he strategized, but I kept thinking, “It’s already been done.”  Then he asked, “Do you need a hug?”  One hug, and a big sigh later, he said, “Your voice is as valid as that other writer’s.  You haven’t been happy doing this for a while now, that isn’t like you.  If it isn’t ready, then submit it next year.  No doubt they’ll make this offer again.”  At that, I went to bed and slept like a contented baby knowing he was right.

When I meditate, I often go to what I call my sanctuary.  This idea is nothing unusual, I’ve read of it being called a safe place, etc., it’s a spot you love, often set in nature.  What may strike others as unusual, is that in my sanctuary the next morning, was a Buddhist monk.  I’ve seen him before, and I was happy to see him again.  Does this happen to others?  I wish I knew.  I asked what he thought about the book and the deadline?  The answer was, “Would you push a bird out of the nest when it is still an egg?”  I understood what that meant, or, what it meant to me.  It looked like I’d have a lot to do in the next ten months.  I was ready to get back to work.

Then he reminded me of a couple of things I had wanted to do in the past few days, but had told myself, “I can’t, I have to finish the proposal.”  Each simple desire was like a flower bud growing from my heart, full of the possibility to bring joy, now wilted.  Those moments were gone, but there would be others.  There was no judgment.  There was just a way to look at the power we hold over ourselves.  The choice to follow some small idea that brings us happiness; lunch with a friend, creating a piece of jewelry, or go on a bike ride, and what happens when we ignore what our hearts long for.


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