Sometimes Reality Bites
*and Sometimes the Fish Do
I had so much fun reading your responses to Friday’s blog post. I think my favorite sweatshirt saying was, “Jesus loves me. Everyone else thinks I’m a jerk.” It was fun learning a little more about each of you. Thanks for contributing!
I apologize if you’re getting tired of my blogging about my family and our Rocky Mountain adventures. You can click away if you don’t like it… but if you want to hear a “big fish” story, read on.
My husband takes the kids fishing occasionally but they don’t normally catch anything worth keeping. So this time they caught a nice-sized trout, took turns reeling it in, then commenced screaming and shouting because they were ridiculously excited about the catch. Finally! All the work had paid off! All those hours sitting on the edge of a river or a lake, or sitting in a little canoe, finally resulted in the prize. A fish! They decided they wanted to keep it and have it for dinner.
But then reality set in. Because what happens next? Obviously the fish has to be gutted. Brian took out his knife and did the deed. Off came the head. Slit went the fish’s belly. Guts everywhere.
Never have I seen two girls run so fast or scream so loud. They wanted nothing to do with that part of the process.
Are you sensing where I’m going with this?
You may spend months or years writing your books and searching for an agent and/or a publishing contract. One day all your hard work will pay off and you’ll land that big fish. The prize! But you’d better be prepared for what comes next. It’s called reality and it doesn’t always live up to the fantasy.
Your project might be gutted just like that fish, and there are plenty of other parts of the process that are unexpected: Your life doesn’t change overnight. You may not be able to quit your day job. You have to work hard to market your book. Once you’re published, it still takes work to get published again. Sometimes you’ll look around and see fish guts everywhere and wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?”
I just want you to remember there’s a lot of gritty reality that will happen after you land your big fish, so try to prepare for it.
The good news? Well, I cooked the trout over an open fire at our campsite that night and we all enjoyed it. A great ending to a process that was partly exhilarating and partly traumatic.
And when you see your book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, I think you’ll say the same thing.