Maggie Singleton has been freelance editing for the past four years, and has provided professional technical editing for an Army contractor for the past 10 years... all while caring for three great kids under that age of seven! She is now discovering life on the other side of the red pen as a writer. She tells me she “couldn't be happier!” I say, “Me, too!” Her debut book, “Milk Diaries”, should be finished some time this summer, and I for one can’t wait. Good luck, Maggie!
I have this rather nasty habit when I run. I look down at the ground. I try to look up, but I'm scared that my lack of coordination will get the best of me and I'll trip and fall on something. And if given the choice, I would really rather not fall down.
Back in day, my HS cross country & track coach saw this as a problem that needed fixing. Not only would it improve technique he said, "You need to look up so you can see your competition.” It made sense. It really did. How was I ever going to size up my competition (let alone focus on the shoulder of the girl in front of me and real her in) if I wasn't looking up? How was I ever going to see the finish line if I didn't look up? How was I going to face my demons head on if I was busy looking at the ground – merely sizing up the obstacles in my way? My coach actually brought a neck brace to practice for me to wear one day. Yes, my friends… a neck brace that I had to wear the entire practice – forcing me to do what my body did not naturally want to do.
I'd love to say that the amusing object lesson did the trick, but some habits die hard. It was on such a run… while I was looking down… that I began to realize the similarities between my nasty running habit and this sinking feeling that's been irking me for the last few months while I make last-minute changes to my book. But this time I'm not running scared… I'm writing scared. I'm sure every creative professional goes through it. . . Will people actually read this stuff… what if after all of this time and effort it's taken me people are unimpressed with the content (but would never say it to my face)… what if it doesn't sell? Why did I decide to write a book in the first place!?! And that's when it hits me. I'm looking down at the ground again.
I'm letting the "book market is so over-saturated" sound bite from a well-intentioned acquaintance become a crack in my mental sidewalk. When I realize someone has already published a similar book, I stop looking at the finish line and instead begin comparing our strides mile for mile. At times like this, I need a neck brace to force me to do what my mind does not naturally want to do. I need a neck brace to help me look up to see the finish line of publication. I need a neck brace so I can accept that I'm not the only one who has good information to share on a given subject – although I am the only one who can share it in my own unique, creative way.