The Road Forward

Black is an odd color choice for a toilet. To be fair, going alone to a crowded bar on a Friday night and hiding in the corner bathroom stall is an odd choice too, but there I was.

It’s been a long and windy road that my dream has taken me. It’s taken me to Amarillo Texas.  It has taken me to a police station, a recording studio, and a lawyer. When I set out to follow my dream of being a writer I expected a lot of pajama-wearing laptop-staring afternoons.  Instead, I’m staring at a gurgling toilet in a bar because I’m afraid of what I have got myself into.

I wonder if this happens to other people who have crazy dreams.  One thing just leads to another.  The only path is forward -or quitting.  You usually learn this the hard way.

When I set out to record a trio of short stories, I supposed all I needed was a recording device.  I was wrong.  I was really, really, wrong. Soon I learned I needed to be in a professional studio. That may seem quite logical and glaringly obvious, but it wasn’t then. I was confronted with a true test.  Was I willing to invest in myself?  That’s a very hard question. I’m not a risk taker, I’m not adventurous. Self-doubt is my demon. He doesn’t just vacation in my brain he owns condos. He’s running for mayor. 

I had to decide if I thought what I wrote was worth it.

I did.

What I didn’t know then was that all kinds of things would pop up on this journey.  I learned that the best avenue to put it out in the world required it to be in print first. I had to hire an editor. I had to find a cover artist. I had to get a professional head shot. Good God, who would want a picture of me?  And I had to pay for the evidence that it happened! The list of requirements kept spreading like a rash, with little end in sight, constant irritation, and no relief.   

Writers have to be on social media.  I don’t like social media.  I like staying in and wearing slippers and writing stories about worlds that exist in my head.  Each challenge posed a new opportunity to quit. 

Do it or quit.

I did it.

That’s why I hid in the toilet at the bar.  I was afraid that I wasn’t a good enough story teller, that my story was not interesting, or funny, or worthy of their precious free time. 

I never imagined I’d join a group of storytellers.  I never imagined I’d have a blog where I create those stories to tell.  But I do.  And maybe if they like my story they might like to read my stuff.

I took a deep breath, told the mayor to take five, and reread my notes. I had to decide if what I wrote was worth it.