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Friday, April 3, 2015

A Dinghy in a Sea of Yachts

photo of dinghy in Stonington, Maine harbor by author
I was thinking about all this writing business--so much so that I was dreaming about walking 20 miles in the rain with two dogs and an awkward load upon my the dark--and I have found that I have trepidation about the business of this writing business. Okay, I hate it--the part about selling stuff, promoting stuff, trying to get people to buy stuff. I don't like doing it and I'm not good at it.

Writers are generally introverted people. This is probably not a shock to anyone, but it needs to be repeated: most writers (never say "always" for anything or you may be disappointed or insane) are quiet "misfits" who spend a good part of their day inside their heads. It's not necessarily comfortable in there (I speak only for myself, but feel free to relate if it strikes a nerve). In fact, the mind of a writer/creative person can be a dangerous place for the less than timid. (I say less than timid because TIMID is often the fetus-form of the future toddler-monster SELF-DOUBT). So, let me touch upon the imagery of the little boat afloat on the water. Our little vessel is happy, floating there in the calm water unnoticed, serene. Ripples in the water begin to rock the boat, gently at first, but then become stronger and more urgent. The boat responds by riding over each ripple, buoyed by the rhythm of the waves. There is a nice creaking of the wood hull as it rocks on the fluid beneath. Suddenly, a huge cruise ship sails by. There is no danger of collision because the big ship is far away from the harbor, but the wake of that big boat travels fast and hard through the water toward the little boat. As the sea wall rolls into the shore, the little boat braces itself, pointing its bow into the wave. Maybe it gets knocked around, or loses an oar. Water splashes into the little dinghy as the wake overtakes it, but the vessel stays strong and upright. The scene repeats every time another bigger or faster boat goes by, but the dinghy stays the course.

Row, row, row your...sorry, I was daydreaming about floating on the water...where was I? Oh yes, I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you're a little dinghy, don't let anyone call you crazy for following your dreams. Keep rowing, bail out the bad stuff, and stay afloat.

Hope to see some of you tomorrow (April 4th) at 2:00 at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, N.Y.