If there were a list ranking things that i most despise about myself, the top position would be occupied with the summation:
i miss my friends. i long to talk to them, meet with them and find out what they are up to. You would expect me to call them and invite them to meet with me. I want to do this. My husband has pointed out that once i start talking to my friends the conversations last a very long time. Despite my desire to make the call, the actual process of tapping my phone and hitting their name on my “favorite” list is surprisingly excruciating.
As the TV detective Adrian Monk ubiquitously said, “Here is the thing.” i dread making phone calls. i desperately want them to call me. It does not come from my rational faculty. i don’t expect them to pick up their phone and call me just because i am looking at my phone and praying that they will call.
Inviting someone is very stressful for me. There is an indefinable question that lingers just below the surface. An invitation is an offering of vulnerability. When we ask someone, they could turn us down. Rejection, however remote is possible.
i am convinced that those of us who are very comfortable with being alone are proportionally more uncomfortable bridging the divide of possible rejection. We check one more thing off our To Do: list while we wait on the possibility that they will call us first.
An invite is a loaded term. i love to be invited, but life would be so much easier if i didn’t have to initiate the conversation.
P.S. i actually did leave a garbled message on my friend’s machine telling her that i wanted to get together for lunch soon. It was mixed with phrases about how i would love her to call me and, vacillating introvert that i am, i said that i would call later. Ouch!
When I was growing up I was not one of the “cool” kids. Writers usually are not the social butterflies who instinctively enter the center of the group. We are generally just on the outside of the group observing and considering. Our reflective nature is suited to the outskirts. This makes us more sensitive to rejection. Unfortunately, rejection is a key component of writing.
We are required to submit pieces of our souls to publishers in hopes that they may be accepted. It is ruthlessly impersonal and yet to the writer it is the most personal experience. This is what makes it so hard for many of us to hit the send button. For the person on the other end it is simply a business decision based on recent publishing and market demand. Knowing that it is not a rejection of one’s self does not make it much easier. It takes enormous courage to share your writing at all. Submitting it for publication is brutal. The greatest success is to keep showing up and to keep sending. The history of publication is filled with bestseller a that were rejected time after time. We keep repeating to ourselves that rejection is not a reflection of our skill. Keeping the faith is an act of heroic stubbornness.
Endless little roadblocks seem to litter the paths of the writer. Even in blogging the travails never cease. I am entering the third week of repeated loss of my home internet access. The simple or the great difficulties can stop us if we believe it is about ourselves. I would give up and try something more accessible if I believed it was about my words reaching an audience. The reason I am committed this time is that I have come to believe that it is not my words that matter. This is about allowing God to use my words to do His will.
Onward I press because I carry a gift in this humble jar of clay. I have met the “light” and I am obligated to shine His light to the best of my ability. My cracks are tools that He can use to get more light out. Fortunately He is an expert in working miracles. So, I’m a day late, submitting this for your approval, dear reader, I am sitting in a hospital waiting room, so I can use the wifi while my sister does physical therapy. I have no idea why this is so complicated, but the One I love must have a plan. So many little things in life can interfere with our desire to tell others about God and His incredible love for mankind. Things are just a bit upside-down right now, including the pic on the link-up. I guess more cracks in the pot lets more light out. God bless you and your day.
This post is part of a series on Kate Motaung’s site for the Writer’s Discussion Group focusing on the book On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig.