Everybody wants to be in control. Not evil-moustache-stroking control-the world, but over themselves; their time, happiness, success, thoughts, bodies, their everything.
Instead of taking control and wielding it, it’s relinquished. It’s given away.
Time is surrendered with a martyr’s sigh to the million things you have to do.
Happiness slips into the hands of another.
Success is sealed into an envelope and sent away with crossed fingers.
Thoughts are thrown to the wind, to be tossed about by whichever gust takes them.
Bodies are laid at the feet of sickness, injury, addiction, laziness.
The idea of holding onto authority is on my mind for a few reasons. The one I’m going to share with you is to do with sending my book out.
I’ve decided to look for an agent simply because I want to. I think my books are good enough. They’re books I’d love to read. And so I’d like other people to read them.
I’ve said before that I’m not writing to be published, and I hold to that. If a prophet appeared before me and told me I’d never get published, I’d write anyway…with all the freedom that comes with knowing I am, in fact, writing in a bubble and it is one hundred percent for me.
When I think about my story excitement stirs. My mind opens out so it can hold the world, my world. The scale of it is a little daunting, but when calmness settles it’s a perfect fit. It’s somewhere even I can get lost in sometimes.
When I think about my books I’m the sound of a knife-sharpener against a blade, I’m the quiet focus before a fight, I’m the child on a bed of grass who owns the castles in the sky. I’m everything I can be.
So what if I fail?
What if the belief in my books, in myself, gets sealed into an envelope along with the carefully crafted pages carrying my streams of words and is sent away? And what if a sea of rejections comes back?
The thing is, I don’t usually relinquish control. I’m selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed, and entirely under my own authority. My time is my own, I give it when I choose to. I hold my own happiness. I’m in charge of my own success. I let my thoughts blow where they will; luckily they deal with dark places quickly. As for my body, I’m pretty lucky there too. But maybe it’s not luck, maybe it’s authority. It’s like a circle; when you’re in control of something, you don’t need to enforce it.
I’m going to hold on to this powerful thing called self-belief, and ask again- so what if I fail? I’ve created a world. I’ve created characters who will stay with me for a very long time, possibly forever. I’ve already succeeded.