Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brave New World

By: Maegan Beaumont

Two years ago this summer, I finished the first
 draft of my manuscript. I remember walking 
around in a light-headed daze, a stupid smile 
on my face--I'd just written an entire novel. Surely 
that made me the smartest person alive. Or at least
 the most talented, right? After a a day or so, reality 
seeped back in. Yes, I was a genius.Yes, I was talented,
 but... what was I going to do with it? Set it on fire?
 Run it through the shredder and make confetti?
 Wait... I know! I'll have it published!

I was so dumb back then.

When I think of this journey I'm on, I can't help 
but remember the time I was 6 or 7 and I was 
spending the weekend at my dad's house, which was
 in the South Mountain foot hills. My step-brothers 
and I got this crazy idea we were going to walk to the
 base of the big mountain behind our house. Don't ask
 me why, but it was something we all wanted to do.
It looked close, no more than a mile or two--we'd be 
there and back by lunch time.
 We started walking. And walking. And then we walked
 some more. The sun, behind us in the beginning, crept
 slowly overhead until it was in our faces--staring us 
down, as if daring us to take another step.

We just kept walking.

Eventually the sun began to dip behind the mountain
 we were walking toward and that's when I realized 
we were never going to get there. The mountain looked 
close because that's how we wanted to see it.  We'd wanted 
it so badly that we'd fooled ourselves into believing that it'd
 be an easy thing to do.  We turned around and headed home,
 making it back just before dinner... and we never tried to 
walk to that mountain again.

I feel like I've been walking forever... I know that two years
 is nothing compared to the time and talent that so many
 other people have spent on this crazy quest so many of us 
have decided to undertake:

The Quest for Publication.

But I'm not on their journey--I'm on mine--and I can tell
 you that these last two years have both flown and dragged. 
Have been some of the best and worst in my life. Some of the 
happiest and saddest. I've met and made so many wonderful 
friends--fellow writers and people who may not write, but 
believe in my work. And I've lost a few of those who didn't 
want to follow me to the places I was going. I learned so
 much about the person that I am and have finally started 
to realize the person I want to be. I want to be fearless. 
Truly fearless... to do that, I have to face my biggest fear.

I'm afraid to fail. And being afraid to fail means being
 afraid to try...

Two years ago, I made the decision that I was going to make
 publication my goal. That meant that I'd have to try and in
 doing so, risk failing at something I loved. I waffled. Setting
 it on fire started looking like a viable option. Then this little 
voice in the back of my mind said, "but then you'll never know..." 
and it was right. If I didn't try, I'd never know if I was good
 enough. Suddenly, the fear of not knowing seemed bigger 
than any other. Failure still terrifies me, but in my writing, 
I've finally found something that's worth the risk.

I started walking. I'm still walking... and this time, I'm not turning back.


Shannon Baker said...

So inspiring! Thanks for a great post.

Kathleen Ernst said...

What a lovely post! Good for you. We've all walked on that seemingly endless road, but sometimes wonderful things await just around the bend!

Maegan Beaumont said...

Thanks, ladies! It's so nice to be able to share my ramblings with people who "get it". :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for share...

Anonymous said...

You go girl! I hope to "someday" have your fearless attitude!