Day 18 - Retreats or Forwards
More than almost anything, I wanted to write a book before I died. That, to me, was the wall I'd slap at the end of a run, signifying I'd gone the distance. It was my handprint on the cave of the world. It was the flag sunk into the moon. It was the thank you whispered into the ear of god, proving I had been paying attention. Now that I've done it, more than anything I want to help as many people as I can accomplish the same goal.
It took a village to get me my book, and I want to be a village for others. Frankly, I see myself as a force. If I see someone who I think carries a book inside, I can't let it go. I'm at their heels until they get to work, stay at work, and finish the darn thing. It comes from having a mother who died before she finished her book. I know it can happen. I know you can die with the darn thing undone.
I think the word "retreat" as in "writer's retreat" sounds defeatist. I'm thinking of calling it a "forward."
Every day I talk to four different people on the phone for 15 minutes each, encouraging them ever forward. To not retreat into fear or silence or the known. I am so grateful to them, for their commitment, their love of language and art and life, their persistent knocking at the door of this is what I am trying to say. Sometimes I get nearly sick with excitement when I imagine the covers of their books, their author photos on the back because I know what a relief it is, to have done it, to have crossed the finish line, to have typed the words THE END.
I am so grateful I got my book finished before I sailed off this mortal coil because now I get to say, I know how to do it--to write a book--because I did it. Now let me help you. The world is waiting to hear your story.
You make the world a better place when you show up.
On your mark, get set, go.