My Mom remembers when I was a little kid, so she still thinks of me as a bit helpless. She makes references that drive me crazy about the fear I had of touching raw meat when I was a child (it was icky) and the way I used to keep my room messy all the time. When in reality, I like to prove myself capable of doing anything, even when it has disastrous results.
For instance, I own two dogs – both rottweilers. I am physically weak, but when no men were home to walk the dogs in the middle of the day for a week, I decided I could do it myself. In fact, I could walk both of them at once. After all, they do it, why can’t I?
The result was a car driving by and both of them almost ripping my arms out of their sockets as they charged towards it. I dropped the leashes and they ran away.
The driver of the car handled it well. They stopped, which was lucky, since one of my dogs stuck its head under the front wheel to bark more effectively at it, but I’m pretty sure I scared them by screaming at my dogs at the top of my lungs and including a few swear words.
I was afraid they’d get taken away or be hurt. If you can’t control your dog what they do is all your fault and it can have disastrous consequences. I don’t want them to bite someone (or even scare people for that matter) or get run over by a car.
I’ve decided to self-publish recently. I’m not even going to query agents with my current manuscript, a romance novel starring Medusa. I’ve decided I can handle the task by myself. That being said, there’s still only so much I can do on my own. I market, I’ve created my cover already, I’ve finished writing my manuscript, but I need beta readers and editors to help me perfect it. I also depend on fellow writers to teach me what they’ve learned so I don’t make the same mistakes and my boyfriend/family to help fund it. I’d like to not need any of these people’s help, to be beyond making mistakes and able to afford it on my own, but the reality is, we all need others in every pursuit of life.
No matter how perfect you may think your manuscript is, there’s always someone who can show you where problem areas are. I’ve learned so much and my novel will be much better because of beta readers. We need editors. Humans were made to depend on others and it only improves us when we do.
I still wish I was strong enough to walk the dogs on my own. Sometimes, in my head, I imagine myself working out more until I can do it by myself. But then I just laugh and shake my head. It’s okay not to be able to do everything.
E.B. Black is a speculative fiction and romance writer who lives in Southern California with her boyfriend and two dogs. She blogs about writing and her love of necromancers. Visit her at http://www.ebblack.com/