To cope with said fear, I’ve had many chats with various flying people – frequent flyers akin to George Clooney in Up In The Air, pilots, Boeing engineers. They’ve all told me the same thing: turbulence never takes down a plane. If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means, keep it to yourself.
In June, my first novel, Heirs & Spares, will be published. Even once I navigate the cover art, finish line-edits, grasp some understanding of Twitter (taxi down the runway as it were), and actually reach cruising altitude of “published,” the ride is going to be choppy. People are going to give me one star reviews. People are going to say I’m a horrible writer, my characters are insipid, and that Steve Job’s ghost should come take my laptop away. E-formats are going to go wonky. Money will continue to flow out of my bank account like Koolaide at an 80’s pool party. Technical glitches will abound, and my hair will grow thinner from all the pulling. I’m headed into a storm. On purpose.
But also, like any flyer, I’m compelled to believe I will reach my destination. Luckily, through therapy, Jesus, and marrying a marvelous man, the only baggage I’m taking on this trip is one rolling suitcase full of self-doubt and sheepishness, safely stowed in the overhead bin, and my one personal item, a purple paisley purse of need-for-approval that, let’s be honest, is pushing the limits of the size requirements. I also realize I need more than pluck, a great spouse, and tiny scotch in plastic bottles to make it through this ride in one mental piece – or peace. I need an attitude that will help me through the flight. Something to grasp onto when the flimsy metal below my feet starts to shake and the perky smile of the flight attendant shrinks to a grim line.
Last week, I talked about New Year’s resolutions and how I wanted to have a theme rather than a list of things I’d never do. So this is it for 2013. Embrace the turbulence. Avoid it by tweaking the flight pattern if possible, but stay the general course. And when the turbulence hits, and it will, embrace it. Don’t tense and freeze, panic and grimace. Relax. Lean in. Take it for the ride it is, knowing it can’t take me down.
I’m not saying it will be fun – being publically pummeled on Amazon is not my idea of an enjoyable flight – but taking an attitude of embrace instead of dread, embrace instead of anger, embrace instead of self-loathing and fixation on the negative, will help to see me through. Along with Jesus, my husband, and the scotch, of course. One star reviews? I give you a big hug, ‘cause we’re only going up from here.
What about you? What’s your theme for the year? How do you get through the turbulence in your own life?
P.S. You’ll be hearing more about Heirs & Spares during takeoff and definitely once that little light dings and you’re free to use electronic devices (read: Advanced Review Copies launch). We’re cooking up some pretty cool stuff – none of that coach buy-a-box of salt and staleness. Think the fresh baked cookies they give you in first class. And hold on with me, people.