I’ll be honest with you. There are days when I lose hope. I look at what’s happening here in the U.S. and around the world and see bleak outcomes. At those times, I really try to remember that wars (of many different sorts) have been won even after battles were lost. Wars are composed of many battles, and losing some is to be expected.
There are days when I find bits of news that give me hope that maybe there are enough courageous people out there to take a stand and set things back on the right path (or at least a path that isn’t as heinous as the one we’re on now), and then I read about how #45 (a euphemism, for those of you who don’t know) for the big orange Cheeto currently in the White House) and his regime has won something or other. And I get depressed all over again.
Then there are the battles on the writing front. In an ocean of many authors, it’s difficult to be seen. This ocean is inhabited by different species:
There are the beautiful whales and dolphins, the creatures that everyone wants to see. People pay money and go out on special boats just to get a glimpse of them.
There are sea lions and walruses, smaller and more abundant, but they still spark interest, and people love to feed them and hear their vocalizations.
There are a few sharks, but I won’t discuss those.
There are the bottom dwellers, the creatures that feed off the crud that lands on the bottom of the ocean, but when caught are considered delicacies. (Did you know that until the late 1800s, lobster was considered peasant food, and during Colonial Days it was fed to prisoners because it was considered unworthy of most people?)
And finally there are the schools of fish. Many, many schools of many, many types of fish. Artists all dream of morphing from a little, obscure, unnoticed fish into one of those beautiful big mammals that get all the attention, but for most it’s an uphill battle. I sometimes feel like I’ve jumped through hoops, played the horns with my flippers, balanced balls on my nose, and performed any number of other tricks, but I still swim with the fishes (not sleep with the fishes—that wouldn’t be good at all). And, yes, I get depressed about it. I think about stopping everything I’m doing. I contemplate no longer writing. I consider just living my life in the easiest possible way, which is to just go to work every day and binge watch TV shows in my spare time. Hell, it would be nice to have spare time for a change.
But I can’t. I just can’t. I would feel like I have nothing left to live for. Like I’m just a blob of meat taking up space on the planet, offering nothing in return for the air I breathe. But how do you go on when you’re driving in an endless tunnel with no light in sight?
Then I remember something that a friend has said to me on several occasions: You never know when it’s going to be the day that things turn around for you.
And she’s right. No one ever had a day on the calendar marked that would be THE day that they would get a job, or be offered a contract, or win the lottery, or find the love of their life. It usually happens when you least expect it.
I have two metaphors going on in this blog. If you like the first one, I’ll say this: Keep fighting the battles, because the war isn’t over.
If you like the second one, I’ll say this: Keep swimming, because you never know when someone is going to throw a ball at you and ask you to play.