Just for the sake of clarification (which I shouldn’t need, because if I was half a writer, I’d have been clear enough), the title of this post is in no way related to Mistress TO the Universe, which would mean something else entirely. I simply wanted to express the female form of “Master of the Universe”.
I got an R yesterday. (R is for Rejection. Let’s see Sue Grafton write that book.) It was a good R (yes, there is such a thing) but it was an R nonetheless, and it broke my heart for all of 15 minutes. After years of continued self-flagellation, I’ve trained myself to permit a pity party of 15 minutes after the receipt of an R, and then I have to go on with my life. Knowing I had a limited window of time in which to feel sorry for myself, I packed a whole lot of misery into 15 minutes. I doubted myself as a writer and as a human with a contribution to make in this world (other than the production of 2 kids and a few tons of stuff in the landfill). Even though I’d sworn last night I’d stay “dry”–I had a vodka and lemonade every day of the weekend, but I didn’t write; alcohol pre-empts any attempt to write anything more comprehensive than a grocery list–I was sorely tempted to break that oath just to let my wounded psyche back away from the problem. But I was good. I didn’t do it.
The odd thing was that after the 15 minutes was over, I refocused myself. I sat down in front of the computer—”pushed myself in front of it like it was an oncoming train” is probably more accurate—and opened Worlds Apart, went over the first scene and slashed away. I think the result is much tighter—and may never need revision again—so I’ve posted it in the Worlds Apart tab. I set to work on that scene with such intense focus that I felt like I was someone else. Someone better, smarter, and stronger.
It made me realize, I haven’t been going about this the right way. I’ve played it confident when it comes to the submissions I have out there, but I have yet to tell myself I’m a writer. JR Ward, at the NJ conference, said anyone who’s set pen to paper with the intention of writing a book, and then completing that task, can call herself a writer. Until now, I’ve thought I’m everything but. Last night I decided yes, I am a writer. I’m also a tech analyst (or whatever my paid title is these days), a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a yarn addict. (“Crocheter and knitter” doesn’t have the same compactness.)
I’ve come to the conclusion, while my bipolar disorder is swinging on the high side, that I will see myself as a Mistress of the Universe. I am in control of my life and my future, and what I’m not in control of, didn’t matter much anyway. I will hold my head high and proclaim myself worthy of whatever I choose. I am a writer. Writing stories that people enjoy reading is a facet of my Destiny. It is unavoidable, and it is a challenge I look forward to taking on.
I am Mistress of the Universe, and I am in control.