5 years ago
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Shopping for Excuses: Conversations with Myself
The next morning, going through the pile, I look at the workshop list again. I really don't know how to choose between the two. And besides, it's a whole week. I don't have enough vacation time for all the things I want to do--a two-week trip to visit my family, staycation, camping in the mountains, time left for a day off here and there. And I'm not really a writer, anyway. I would be terrified to do such a thing. It is expensive, and even if I had the money it would be irresponsible to spend that much money on, on, on what? On myself. Work calls; I drop it back in the trash.
What is it my time to do? I have run out of the practical excuses. All that is left is fear. "I am not a writer. What if I can't do it? What if everyone else is better than I am?" I pull up the website and reread the brochure. It doesn't say a thing about "must be published," or "must have a degree in literature," or must be a "poet laureate." The only prerequisite is a love of writing. I read the course descriptions. The one the woman is teaching says it's for intermediate and advanced writers. The one with the bearded man states for all levels--and the description sounds a bit more like what I do. I open the registration form and choose them as my second and first choices respectively, add my contact information and credit card number. It does not ask for a writing resume or a writing sample or a 250 word essay on why they should let me in. I click send. I am the 80th person to register for the eight 15-person-limit workshops. Maybe I will get in, and maybe I won't. I will be disappointed, not relieved, if I don't. But I have done my part.
I go back outside. Three thoughts dawn on me. I could have put the shopping cart in my car and driven it to Food Lion. I put the brochure in the recycling box, that's why it wasn't in the wastebasket. And the income tax refund I am expecting is exactly the cost of the adventure I just signed up for.