Friday, June 11, 2010
Falling Down, Getting Back Up
She walked out floating on air, talking about the life lesson of the movie, that when you fall down you can get up again - changing your life and the outcomes - and did I feel the same way? I thought about my life and how much I've fought back from, how much I have certainly applied that principle to my life. Then I thought about my writing.
My book, in manuscript form, just got turned down by an agent. I've had a long history with my book, including time during which it was represented previously but which representation I severed. I recently did a pretty big rewrite. I thought that it might be a good time to journey again into the publishing world, to send it out to one special agent. Not a whole bunch of agents; I didn't want to paper the world with queries. I thought, I'll just try it and see what happens.
She asked for the manuscript to read. And then a month went by. And then I got the turn down, a very lovely, personal note explaining exactly why she wasn't in love with the project enough to represent it.
And so what was I thinking while I was watching the Karate Kid?
I was looking at the scenes of China and I was thinking that I am fifty damn years old and I haven't been to China. Not that I ever wanted to go, but still, that's what I was thinking.
I was thinking that maybe it's time for me to give up writing and go teach at a community college again.
I was thinking that when I least expect it, a new rock bottom shows up to teach me some kind of lesson but I'm not always smart enough to figure out what the lesson is. Does this mean "try harder" or does it mean "work on something else?" Or does it mean "patience?"
And finally - totally ruining my enjoyment of the movie - I was thinking that I'm going to have to pack my book away - the book I have loved, the book that is like my heart beating in my chest - and work on something else. Or not work on something else.
But that's not what I said to my daughter. I said, "I totally believe you can do that."
Have you seen the new Karate Kid? Did you like this message about picking yourself back up again? Do you believe it? Do you believe that sometimes you just have to give up and move on to something else?