Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It's no secret that I'm a ferocious avoider. I can out-avoid anyone. I have been known to walk a mile or more to go to a different store if I feel I've managed to embarrass myself at a store a few block away. I've had letters and phone messages I wasn't sure about sit, undealt with, on my machine or counter for weeks or months. I actually had my contact lens prescription for my left eye expire before I was able to pick them up because I felt a bit weird that I only had the money to buy the right eye at the time. I once even climbed out of a bathroom window in high school just to avoid a person—who didn't even know me.
When I was originally writing my manuscript, I knew that in order to present it to publishers, I had to produce a book proposal. A book proposal is basically a long sales document describing your book, audience size and composition, and how (well) it might sell. I began to write mine early on, caught up in the spirit of getting things done, and trying to go against another part of my nature...to procrastinate (I come from a proud line of procrastinators, just ask my dad). A deadly combination when mixed with avoiding, let me tell you. But I decided to face the beast, and write the document.
I wrote and wrote. And one day, when still facing the bulk of it yet to go, I decided, true to my avoiding nature, that maybe doing the book myself might be the way to go after all. So I got to work on designing the book and getting it edited to print it on my own. In part to avoid writing the scary book proposal.
And then the universe gave me a huge gift, one too amazing to avoid...I got an agent. Who then needed a book proposal to give to the publishing companies she was approaching.
I have heard that the universe gives you lessons, and it will keep giving you a lesson over and over until you learn it. Thus it seemed to be with the book proposal.
I wrestled with myself for weeks, but prevailed, and finally finished the proposal. Thinking it was now out of my life for good, I gave it to my agent. I was so relieved to hand it over! It was almost like I felt the more I touched it, the more potential there was that I might mess it up. Like my proposal was a new baby bird and I had puffy mitten-hands. I was almost afraid to look directly at it (in my defense, this was the document that went haywire in Fire and the Infinite Loop, so I'm not completely a wackadoo about that one).
Late last week the proposal came back to me once again for a few more adjustments. I have a feeling this will be a lesson the universe may have to give me a few dozen more times (or more). Maybe one day I'll finally learn to face things head on the first time, instead of going around the block to avoid it, only to find it waiting for me there around the corner.