Aladdin puked. Scheherazade was right to leave that bit out of the story, but I’m absolutely convinced Aladdin tossed his dates once the genie started with the wish-granting.
I sold an article on Sunday. It’s not just the first freelance piece I’ve ever sold, it’s the first time anyone has paid me for something I wrote.
When I heard the news, I did the expected happy dance, told everyone I could reach on the phone, and rode high the rest of the day. The next morning I sat down at my computer, got ready to work, then a panic attack slammed me in the guts.
I couldn’t focus. Couldn’t read, couldn’t write–even breathing seemed dangerously beyond reach.
I got myself half-together after an hour, managed to get a little writing done, and struggled through less than half the revisions I needed to get out of the way.
Selling that article made the whole thing real. And when that reality hit, my stomach prepared for launch.
My father’s going through the same thing. He’s a woodworker, and he makes everything from jewelry boxes to animal figures. It’s never been more than a hobby for him, but he’s taken it seriously since retiring a few years ago.
He’s made a lot of things, and he takes the occasional stab at selling them, but he’s never made a serious effort to make money off his creations. My folks have talked about flea markets and craft fairs, but it’s never risen above the level of talk–until a few weeks ago.
My father brought something he made out to a store in town which only sells things made by local craftspeople. They seemed impressed, he said, but needed input from people who weren’t there when my father showed up. He left them the item and is still waiting to hear back.
Only that’s not entirely accurate, because he stopped waiting the other day. He took something else he made out to another place, hoping for good news.
“He wants more,” my father said. “And he’ll buy every one I bring him.”
He had this meeting on Monday, did the family happy dance, and rode high for the rest of the day. By Tuesday, the fear had rolled in, and he was in the same boat as me.
When you’re chasing a dream, even if you’re pushing harder and faster than you’ve ever pushed, there’s enough wiggle room to cloak the self-doubt and fear. When you catch up to the dream–when you start thinking maybe, just maybe you’re going to win–fear tears the cloak away.
It’s funny how self-doubt gets worse with success.
Funny like a hangman’s noose.