I’ve gone dark around here, which I had hoped would be an infrequent occurrence, but summer around here is always filled with crazy things to do, things that pop up and things that keep jumping to the head of my to-do list.
My mantra lately has been “If they can accomplish it, so can I.”
The craziest thing I’ve done lately is learn how to swim. I signed myself up for private swimming lessons at the public pool in the tiny town next to where I live. My teacher is named Harriet, 17 years old, blond hair, blue eyes, bright and encouraging smile. She looks like a china doll — an accomplished swimmer china doll. My first lesson, I didn’t have the confidence that she could hold me up in the water, as I am less svelte than I would ideally like to be, and I’m taller by at least 3 inches.
Now, I never learned how to swim. I know, it’s so odd, but I just didn’t. Apparently, there’s some sort of ancient parental drama involved behind the fact that neither I, nor any of my siblings, learned how to swim as children, but it’s too much to hash out now. I don’t need to spare any more of my emotional landscape to things so long past. It didn’t happen when I was a kid, so I’m learning now.
I’ve gone from absolute, sheer and utter panic dunking my head under the water at my first lesson to a less-than-graceful but effective crawl. As my friend points out, I am 100% Not Drowning, and that’s really the whole point of the whole thing. I can be in the water and not sabotage my own efforts to float and travel from point to point. My last swim, I even managed a rather nice backstroke. I’m in the pool 5 days a week, for 45 minutes each session. I swim drills, I am building up my endurance bit by bit and slowly but surely, I’ve figured out how to do a fairly tidy back stroke, and I’ve got the basic idea of the breaststroke done — it’s still not very pretty yet, but I am 100% not drowning. I spend a fair amount of time watching the other swimmers, trying to figure out how they’re doing it, trying to count out their stroke rhythms and breaths.
There’s absolutely no reason why I *can’t* swim. All these other people can swim — I must be able to, as well. I just haven’t quite figured it all out yet. If they can do it, so can I.
I decided to apply this to my books, as well. I’ve been doing a lot of “pounding the pavement”, going to independent bookstores around my state, shaking hands, giving elevator pitches to the buyers, handing out my business cards and hoping they’ll stock my books in their shops. There are plenty of ‘indie authors’ in bookstores these days — and if they can accomplish that, then so can I.
I’m hoping to diversify, test out my wings and see what else I can accomplish it. If other can do it, so can I.