Thursday, March 24, 2016

Running, Running, Running

I’m a runner. Not in the physical sense (I’d be the first to die in The Hunger Games for sure), but in the emotional sense. When things get tough, when I get frustrated, I bail. I actually only just realized this about myself yesterday while I was journaling.

An extreme example of this, and a story that only a few people know, is that last March I left Austin. I’ve always had the itch to do something impulsive, like get in my car and drive far away. Honestly I don't even remember what prompted it. I woke up one morning and thought, "Today's the day." I did a quick Google search for “small, unique beach towns” and the first result was Bandon, Oregon. That was my destination. Only, because I’m me and the least impulsive person in the world, I made a checklist of things I had to do before I left. Wash clothes, get an oil change (I was going to be driving thousands of miles, after all), get dog food (the dog was coming with me), etc. By 10AM I had decided I was leaving, at around 4PM I think I actually left.

I knew nothing about Bandon except that it had a few dog friendly hotels close to the beach. I was excited to go somewhere that nobody knew me. Nobody knew what a fraud of a writer, or a person, I was. Nobody would ask me questions like, “How’s the depression?” or “How’s that book coming along?” No, in Bandon, Oregon, nobody asks you a damn thing. I never made it to Oregon. I never even made it out of Texas. I drove maybe four hours then turned around and drove back home. I even bailed on bailing. See? A runner.

I say all this to say I’ve been running from this book since I started it nearly two years ago. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of running but I don’t know how to do anything else. Because once I finish this book I’ll be out of excuses, I’ll have nothing to hide behind. I'll have no other choice but to put it out there, and that, to me, is more terrifying than drowning. It’s like I’m giving the world my heart and hoping the world will give it back to me unscathed. I know that won’t happen, so I hold on to it dearly with all my life and dare someone to take it from me.

The thing is… I want to share this book with people, I wouldn’t be writing it if I didn’t. I want people to love my characters the same way I do. I want their story to impact the lives of others as it has mine. But that means not running away from it, and that’s something I don’t know how to do.