Although I knew I bombed the Pitchapalooza on Friday night, no one would say so. Everyone else had received one or two compliments about something good they had done in their pitch. When I asked about it, someone said that they were here to criticize. My gut retracted like I had been punched hard. If they were to give me criticism, they forgot. I was left longing for more: more good and more bad comments.
That was the first time I had ever truly wanted my work to be put in the hands of a thread stripper. Tears formed in my eyes and I walked out to regain composure. I told myself that I hadn’t given up before, why would I give up now. I have a really good story to share with others. Taking two steps back, I walked back in there and showed several people what other creativity that I am good at. Author’s Soap was a hit.
When I reached the place i spent the night, my adrenaline collapsed and I realized that I had not ate supper. Gobbling my last minute meal down, I curled up on the couch and slept. The night was short, but felt even shorter when the home owner’s alarm clock buzzed at 4:45 am. I did not go back to sleep so I got around for my long day. Thinking that the conference didn’t include breakfast, I found a restaurant open. Arriving on time at 7:15am, I met up with a familiar face in the parking lot and we laughed and talked all the way inside.
Volunteering brought up wonderful feelings of being young. I had loved volunteering when I was younger. When I reached my low point in life, I was not physically capable of helping others. Burdens crumbled off my shoulders and I felt as strong as superman despite the huge amount of pain I endured all day. Grateful to be able to walk and not experience the adventure on crutches or a wheelchair, I grinned from ear to ear.
Classes that included reviews had new information to enlighten us with. Either that or I was at a point in life where I was ready to catch the little details. Afternoon arrived and exhaustion took over despite my coffee intake. Having fight left in my system, I did not want to give in to the desperation of my body’s need for sleep. This was an opportunity that I was apart of. The class that I had only half picked was the one that my head nodded in despite the humor of the speaker. I silently begged and begged for the night to be over, but I processed all the information I could (except the class I nodded in).
The last speaker proclaimed he had the secret for publishing. From the research I have done, I was not surprised that his secret was the three word phrase: Don’t give up. All night long, I repeated the words. When I mistakenly switched the word Never for Don’t, it did not encourage me like the word “Don’t”. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that “Never” seemed distant and far away. “Never” was a land that I would not ever reach. “Don’t” was a word used for the here and now. It presently would happen today, tomorrow or in the next hour.
Although I have had several opportunities to pound into myself that I would not give up in life or writing, I took the encouragement as a reminder. There are those minutes or hours that I do give up on. We humans, as writers or writer’s in denial, need a reminder to not give up. “Don’t give up” is a phrase not just for writer’s, but it is a reminder for people who struggle and i know everyone struggles in some way or another in life. So as a Pay-it-forward, I am not saying “Never give up”, I am saying, your brain responds better to “DON’T give up”.