This week I discovered that frustration might be a better motivator than the usual vaguely encouraging fluff. I have been chewing on a quote from Denzel Washington’s commencement speech at Dillard University 2015. Like every other morning, I woke up this morning when my husband started getting ready for work. Unlike every other morning, my usual sloth-ish self called in sick. My mind was up and ready to go despite the fact that I wanted to stay in bed for another hour and half. This is partly due to residual disgust and embarrassment from having accidentally squashed a snail last night as I was taking out the trash. Why would I be embarrassed? Because slugs gross me out, my stomach usually starts churning at the sight of them and after seeing the cracked shell and slime, I howled in revulsion and consequently had an audible conversation with myself that began by convincing my stomach not to force everything I had eaten out. The conversation continued with a debate on whether or not to throw out my murderous shoes. When I finally came to myself I realised that an acquaintance was having a smoke on the terrace; a silent witness to the entire debacle. I scurried into the house to the tune of the smoker’s awkward humming.
The other part is: what to do about my book. I have been writing a book since 2009 and in between that time and today, I had many life interruptions. I studied two Master’s degrees, I travelled the world, I worked and I got married. A little under a year ago I finally finished the book and had it professionally edited ready to meet the publishing gatekeeper. The obstacle of publishing is something that most authors are familiar with and exceptional authors like J.K. Rowling have chronicled and used to encourage those of us looking into the void. After some exchanges with a few authors, and even an editor of a notable publication, I am no closer to getting past the gate than before. At first my thoughts were along the lines of not understanding why no one was willing to show me how they did it and give me the keys to the ‘published author castle’. This, I admit, is the thinking of a loser. I heard Jay Z express something similar in an interview where he said his response to critics asking why he doesn’t let Kanye shine was loser mentality. No one needs to let anyone else do anything; the onus is on that person to get it done irrespective of anyone else. This morning I was challenged to change the way I’ve been going about trying to get it done and the way I’ve been thinking about it.
Time to get it done! To anyone trying to get anything done…