At writer’s group this week we were a bit down. Okay, that’s like saying the stock market was a bit down in September of 2009. We were a lot down. Factors? The worst winter in most of our memories. No sunshine, record snowfall, unrelenting cold spells. Depression was a factor nation wide I’m sure. Most people merely put one foot in front of the other in the hope of survival. I know I did. And then there’s our passion: the writing. Having seen successes for all of us – last spring [Marsha], last summer [Tasha], and last fall [me] we rode a high into those winter months.
The problem with any high is it inevitably is followed by a low at some point and we hit it. So, we did what writers do. We gathered together as a group and cheered each other up. We acknowledged our frustrations but accepted that we could not quit. Not now. Then, we parted. The high point of my week is my group meeting. I have raised boys and thus been in a household of testosterone for 22 years so to spend one night with the girls has been my salvation. When we part it is always a bit bittersweet. But this week it was particularly hard. I hurt for my girls, for me. Were we chasing illusive rainbows looking for the pot of gold?
The next day, the answer to that question came, in perfect time. An email that began with that wonderful word, “Congratulations!” One of my short stories had been accepted to an anthology. It may not be the pot of gold but it is that wonderful affirmation that chasing the dream is never the wrong thing to do. The girls and I – we struggle together and we win together and we lose together. What I’m discovering in this journey is that the most important word in that sentence isn’t win nor lose; it isn’t struggle. The most important word is together!