Please help. My blog is starving and I have nothing to feed it.
I'm stricken with pity and guilt by my blog's plight, but pity and guilt don't help it any more than they would help this tiny scrap of avian life to survive, to grow, to someday unfold its new wings, to launch itself into the infinite nest of the air. My blog needs nourishment, and I have none to give.
Unfortunately, the USB ports on my laptop don't accept worms and grubs. If they did, I could probably manage to find some good specimens in the back yard. But the food I need to produce for the blog has to be manufactured in my brain, and my brain seems to have closed up the creativity shop. The only thing it seems able to produce these last few weeks is anxiety, and as we all know, the only thing anxiety can feed is more anxiety.
It's embarrassing to reveal what I'm so anxious about, but I will, in the hope that if I spill a little of my own blood between the keys, the blog will at least be temporarily mollified. I'm anxious because in 13 days I'll find myself in attendance at the New Jersey Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (a.k.a. "NJSCBWI") annual Conference. I've attended this Conference for many years, and for every one of at least the last five, I've gotten my heart broken. I've submitted the first 15 pages of a book manuscript for one-on-one critiques by editors and/or agents, and I've been told by at least one such critiquer that she (it's always been a she) loves what I've written, loves the way I write, and wants to see more, more, more. So I've duly sent more, more, more, only to (occasionally) be told never mind, or (more frequently) never hear so much as a syllable in response. This happens every. Single. Year. And yet I keep making my annual pilgrimage to this Conference, because where else will I find the opportunity to receive real critiques from real industry professionals? It's truly an amazing perk that NJSCBWI offers, and I keep taking advantage of it, and I keep getting my hopes up, only to eventually be spat out once again upon the slush-pile shore.
But here's the thing: my writing keeps getting better. I know this to be true beyond all doubt. So of course, each year I can't help believing that THIS TIME will be the charm. And each year, I do inch closer and closer, but - at least so far - never close enough. Which is why for the past week I haven't been able to draw a full breath - not like that's annoying, right? - and I'm not expecting any relief from this condition until I'm back home post-Conference.
Truth be told, writing all this is not only embarrassing; it's mortifying. What's wrong with me?? Do I not have one of the most fortunate of lives? I have a good, wise, supportive husband. I have two healthy, smart, talented, funny, kind children. I live with the two best dogs in the world. I have a career that I find challenging and rewarding, and that also pays decent money. I have a handful of friendships that go bone-deep. In sum, I have everything I have any right to want, and more. So why can't I just be grateful and STFU????
I'll tell you why. Because, much like my blog and a certain caterpillar, I'm hungry, hungry too.