With achievement comes exposure, and new hurdles

I’m honored and excited to have been awarded a 2012 Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council to assist with the memoir I’m writing about Lina and me and our marriage. But I’m also nervous. While the attention from the grant (it’s already started) will pale next to what comes from the article to be published in my local paper (scheduled for Feb. 12), it’s attention nonetheless. I both court it and fear it. The only way to advocate for understanding is to be vocal and visible. Actually, that’s not the only way; behind-the-scenes roles are equally important. But, as I’ve written before, for whatever reason, I do have the wherewithal to be out there in a way that most people don’t. I don’t know how or why I have it, but I do. And so I need to use my strengths. But, wow, it is just terrifying.

Speaking of strengths, the other part about writing the memoir is the act of writing it, another equally terrifying pursuit in an entirely different way. Can I pull it off? Do I have the writing skills? It is far out of my comfort zone, and I’ve had many false starts, though I suppose they all advance the cause. I’ve been regrouping lately and trying to decide how to play to my strengths and play down my weaknesses. I applied for the grant to help offset the cost of paying a writing coach/mentor/editor or whatever you want to call her. I call her a lifeline. I’ve worked with a few people and I’m still trying to find the perfect match, and one I can afford. It’s kind of like finding a therapist or a mate or a new BFF. I’m waiting for that magic to happen. I’m convinced that it will.

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