Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Healer

The world doesn't owe you anything, it was here first.
Mark Twain

I'm glad to know the world doesn't owe me anything. That knowledge helps me to move beyond experiences that would otherwise crush me. 

Too often in our world of instant gratification I see people who expect that everything in life should be given to them. Somehow, other people are expected to provide them with the necessities of life, whether it's a job, car, money, or whatever.

However, this is a tale about me, not them.

In the 5th grade I wrote a short story called The Time Toilet, which included a giant porcelain toilet bowl that would flush you through time. That story sparked the idea that one day I could be a published author.

In the 6th grade, with the encouragement of Mr. Baziuk, one of the world's greatest teachers, I began work on my first book.

25 years later I remain an unpublished author. In the last year I've written two novels. The first received some mild attention from a few agents who requested material, but nothing came to fruition. The second book I finished around January 31, about two weeks before my pending marriage and honeymoon.

Excited for both my marriage and the opportunity to query a new work, I labored deep into the night, rewriting my manuscript. In the early hours of the morning I completed the work in time to take the next three weeks off for my big day. Exhausted from the lack of sleep, I fell into my bed, forgetting to back up my work as is my customary practice.

The next day, I went to open my file. No luck. Something corrupted the file. 80,000 words--gone. Lost somewhere in the depths of computer hell.

Oh, I still retain the unrevised version and an unrevised paper hard copy, but the latest, most polished draft, with five new chapters disappeared overnight--all because I felt too tired to copy and paste my new version into my dropbox folder.
Artists and writers often know heartbreak. If we didn't, how could we expect to tell a tale effectively? We also know perseverance, diligence, and drive. These are the tools that keep us in the game. We work, sweat, laugh, cry, hope and dream everyday. Published or not, we work hard to feel the satisfaction of producing a work we can be proud of.

And we dream. We dream of new worlds, wonders, women, men, children, struggles, happiness, and life. We dream of getting published, or feeling satisfaction and helping others to dream.

To some, these things may sound cheesy, but nevertheless, they are true.

Writing and music helped me through the loss of my book. They helped me to realize that this experience will help me to touch others as well as to regain my dream. In my life writing and music are the healers.

In the month since my marriage I've halfway completed my new manuscript. And when it's done I will return to the one I lost.

Remember, never take life for granted or believe that life owes you something . . . you might just lose 80,000 words of the book you just finished.