Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Joy of Writing in Stage IV Rapids

The moment my oldest son handed me my 50th birthday gift, I knew I was headed for the thrill of my life.  I locked myself in my bedroom and read Self Publishing and Marketing from the Trenches, written by my mentor, Peter H. Zindler, cover to cover.  One week later, Peter invited me to join his writers critique group.  The first day I met them, I shared how I wanted to self publish my first book in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, eight months later.  Peter looked at Byron, the other leader of the group -- they both smiled.  They knew all about the stage IV rapids ahead of me on the course.

I fell out of the raft so many times during those critique sessions I almost drowned.  The experience was exhilarating.  After I crossed the finish line, Peter told me he never met a writer as crazy as me.  "It normally takes years to write a book.  What you did seemed impossible,"  he told me.

I replied, "Peter, I just followed the advice you gave me in your book."

I'm back in the rapids again and Peter is now living on the other side of the world.  I can see him and his wife shaking their heads.  This time, I'm in a lone kayak and the rapids are bigger than ever.  Any writing expert observing my uncanny behavior would shudder.  I can't hear the voices of the naysayers on the river banks yelling at me to get out the water.  I'm too busy keeping my head above water.  I know my destiny and this is where I belong.

My oldest son summarized it best the first time we explored white water rafting together at the Kern River in California.  After getting knocked out of our raft and bounced around on the rocks, we finally made it to safe waters.  He looked at me and said, "Dad, that was really fun.  Let's do it again."

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like you were navigating in Stage IV rapids?  Please share your experience in the comments section below.

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