Hope Floats

“There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, ‘tis for some other.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

I’ve been in a frustrating season lately. It reminds me of the time Neal and I went fishing with another couple. We boarded our friend’s boat and went to his favorite spot. We baited our hooks and with great hopes cast our lines. In no time at all the fish hit everyone’s hook but mine. But that was okay, because it meant we were in the right spot to catch our limit and my turn would soon happen.

 It didn’t.

At first I was fist pumping the air, congratulating everyone because, as I said earlier, my turn would surely come. After an hour my fists gripped the pole as I watched that stupid bobber float on the water. I mentally grumbled, “Why are they catching the fish? I’m using the same bait and in the same boat for heavens sake.” I wanted to quit, get out of the boat, break my pole over my knee and go home!

For the past several months I’ve received notices from my writing acquaintances and friends about their awards, three-book deals, and acceptances. And I’ve fist-pumped the air and congratulated them. But as far as my submissions, my writing . . . zilch, zip, nada, crickets chirping.

I have wanted to quit. To walk out of my office, throw my computer in the dumpster and go pout under a shrub. But I can’t. So what do I do? I sit in my writing boat and bait hooks for others so they can catch another contract, earn another award, get another acceptance.

And while this sounds noble of me, it doesn’t make things easier. But it helps me keep my perspective. After all, it isn’t all about me. It isn’t all about them. It is what it is. So while I’m conducting workshops, encouraging writers, and helping them succeed, I keep my eye on my own bobber floating on the water.

A couple of days ago, I got a nibble. Who knows, maybe this time it will disappear below the surface and I will be the one pulling in the deal. But until then, I’ll keep baiting hooks.

How about you? Do you feel invisible while others around you are succeeding, getting promotions, passing tests, stepping over you on the ladder of success? Are you  tempted to bale out of the boat, or are you willing to bait the hook for others?

I suggest you hang in there and keep your eye on your bobber. Hope floats. Persistence pulls it under.