If youíve been following my journey, you may remember how I turned down a book deal in January of this year because the deal just didnít value how much Iím worth. (You can read the whole painful story here.) Then my agent and I broke up over it (though we decided to break up and stay in love). It was an act of courage to say no to the publisher. On one level, I felt confident I was making the right decision because every Sign from the Universe affirmed it. †But deep down, I was scared shitless. What if I never got another book deal? What if I really wasn’t worth more? What would I do with my life? You know the drill. . .
Combined with closing the Owning Pink Center, my medical practice, and facing a very uncertain future, I was launched into what I called “the narrow place.” I experienced that deeply uncomfortable lost feeling, where you feel like the bony pelvis is squeezing you from all angles, and there’s no where to go but through the painful middle of the darkest spot.
Being In The Narrow Place
You know youíre going through the narrow place when all roads seem to be leading nowhere, you feel depressed and tearful often, youíre unclear about your purpose or direction, and you canít see clearly the light on the other side of the narrow placeís darkness. When youíre in the narrow place, you can feel the discomfort of pressure exerted from all sides. When youíre there, you may forget that on the other side of the narrow place is wide open expansiveness – in other words, rebirth.
So thatís where I was in January 2011. It was a dark, dark, time. But having been there before, I had faith in the process. I knew in my body that I would expand into the light on the other side when the time was right.
Clinging To A Dream
When I left my traditional medical practice in 2007, I knew I wanted to be a writer and I announced it to everyone. I spent the first year after quitting my job writing a memoir that got rejected by 23 publishing houses and never saw the light of a book store shelf. Then I wrote two more books – one about art and one about vaginas that, while they’re doing well, weren’t exactly New York Times bestsellers. And what I discovered is that, as far as publishers are concerned, the number of books your first book sells matters – A LOT. So when I started interviewing new literary agents, I kept bumping up against the same question – “Well, how many books did you sell?”
Uh. . . grumble. . . mutter. . . can’t we talk about how many people read Owning Pink instead???
I seriously wondered if my writing career was pretty much over. And with no medical practice and no clear plan for the future, I was feeling more than a little desperate. But I couldn’t let go of my dream of being an author who writes a new book every year or two. I write. That’s what I do. Had I reached the end of that road?