I was having the usual writer's semi-annual crisis last night: that moment when a rejection letter comes in and you question how it is you ended up where you are. Usually, it's nose deep in ice cream. Sometimes it involves stromboli. This time it was a dark moment at bedtime when the Doubt Monster decided to strike.
The Doubt Monster is a bit of a jerk who, like Pennywise, makes a target of easy prey. (In this case, the downtrodden writer.) It's that intangible voice singing songs of inadequacy. It tells you you can't do that thing you really want to do. It makes mincemeat of confidence or desire to succeed. It keeps us up at night with thoughts of impossibility. At best it leaves its victims with lingering thoughts of, "Maybe I should just sell shoes or something." At worst, a serious case of the Neville Longbottoms.
So as I sat in bed feeling like a mope, I closed my eyes as I often do, said my prayers, and did something out of character. I laid it on the line. I leveled with the Universe. I opened up and had a chat with fate, the future, and the powers that be. It was a one-sided conversation that went like this.
Hey, universe. How's it going? It's me, Melissa. I know you're busy and all but I feel like mold and was hoping you could help me out for a sec. I'm not really sure if I should be doing this anymore, this writing thing. Like, for real. Is it time to get a job at the deli? I just need to know. Not sure I can or should hack it, so any hints you have would be greatly appreciated. Also, good job on the platypus. Everyone makes such a big deal out of how weird they are. I think they're fine. Keep doing you, Universe. 'Night.
At that point I fell off to sleepy land where the Doubt Monster could no longer get me, with a question on my brain and hope that an answer would come by morning.
The Universe Spoke!
Not to get all New Age (too late!), but I woke up to a partial request from a dream agent. True story. You can't make this stuff up.
The lesson here...
I'd much rather listen to the Universe than the Doubt Monster.