Lately, I’ve had this lump in the pit of my stomach. It's a feeling, not an actual lump. It appears when I hear about an author who has finished revising her manuscript for her editor. And I feel it when another author posts pictures of book readings and I see all the eager children in attendance. And it always hovers when I sit down to write.
At first I thought it was jealousy. After all, I want to do what they do. But if it's jealousy, how am I still able to root for these authors who are putting their words into the world? No, it’s not jealousy. Then I thought it was fear. Was I afraid to write my story or stand before a crowd? I've stood, sweaty, heart racing, and read in many workshops now. No, not fear.
Finally, I sat down with the lump and we had a little talk. I’ve been working for three years now to get my words into the world, to write my story and to stand before a crowd. So, what’s up, lump? Why are you here?
The lump cleared its throat and whispered, "I am neither jealousy nor fear." It leaned in closer and sighed.
It grew bigger.
Still, I waited.
Finally, I heard it in my heart: ‘I… am longing.’
Oh, yes. That’s it. You are longing and I know you.
I nodded along with the lump. We had an understanding now. I would accept it for what it was.
It’s still there, but at least now I know what to call it.