Yes! As in, I don’t have to scour the dictionary for words that begin with Y. Yes is a perfectly good word, and one I’m really over using, right now. Probably a lot too much yes in my life–especially at work–and not nearly enough “Up your–” uhm… politely worded “NO.”
And I’m feeling the weight of all the implied “no’s” that go with saying yes in the wrong places. No, you cannot have time to work on your book. No, you cannot have a blood pressure indicated by any number you learned in primary school. No, no, no, no, no.
And yesterday–another nifty Y word–someone came up to me and asked me about my book.
Except, she was really asking about her book. The one she thinks about writing, sometimes. The one she isn’t writing.
She was getting tangled up in things she’ll never have to worry about unless she writes a book. Manuscript format, and how to find a publisher… and… and… “Dear John letters.” What if she got a Dear John letter? What would she do?
I told her that I’d gotten plenty. And she seemed… more shocked than she should have been. I don’t know if she was surprised that I manage to continue breathing air, or just that I manage to keep writing. And I was quick to tell her that rejection really isn’t so bad.
I don’t think she would have believed me, if I’d told her how much a “Dear John letter” can make me smile. Or that I have a favorite. Or that some of them were really, really, really nice to me. That’s something you have to experience for yourself.
And I’m sure she wouldn’t have believed me, if I told her she should do it, too.
I told her, anyway. I gave her the basics–the bare bones version–of how to look for an agent, and then a publisher, and noted the self-publishing option, and told her she should write that book. I may have offered to help her with the formatting, and maybe even with the research. (I’ve known her for years. I want her to succeed. I might even loan her books. It’s not an empty offer.)
But, I don’t think she’ll do it. Sometimes, saying yes to yourself and to your own dreams is tough. It’s hard to say “yes” to the right things. I don’t do it often enough, myself. But when I do, I’m always glad I did.