An itch for a dream

by Alice

I have an itch. For days I haven’t been able to find it. To cope, I’ve been short with people around me, jittery at my desk. Frowning more than smiling, and spending way to much time and money on online designer discount shopping sites.

And then this morning I read an APW post on dreaming bigger:

I’d forgotten what it was like to knock on door after door after door, and get told no, over and over again. I’d forgotten how depressing it was. I’d forgotten how determined it can make you. I’d forgotten that confusing, partially excited, mostly terrified feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when someone finally says yes. I’d almost forgotten that art is my hustle.

As for me, I had also forgotten, and it made me lazy. During the day, I add 20 pages of footnotes to a manuscript because the author didn’t know how, and then I listen to Lily Allen radio, read BUST magazine, plan my wedding with an open, practical mind, and expect that to be enough. As if surrounding myself with smart, ambitious, daring women would naturally lead to the success of my own big dreams. Despite my comfortable existence as an editorial assistant.

But now it’s my turn to knock on doors. To be rejected so that I can move on from my safe little cocoon of entry-level work that I’ve perfected over the last two years.

And the itch? It’s the pit in my stomach. Because I know that a door is about to open. Now I have to walk into it. And it’s terrifying. Without really knowing what I’m doing, I have to work with authors who don’t know what they’re doing. See if the executive editor likes my work, and if he doesn’t move on. Because I’ve learned all I can in this position.

I need to blog more, find an interesting job, and build on the community of women that has been supporting me.

Or maybe I’ll go to law school. Who knows.

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