This past month has been a rollercoaster of emotions. The excitement and intensity of the three-day HARDCOPY 2014 workshop on 26-28 September was followed by a week of introspection while I tried to process all the information that we had been privy to. How on earth is it possible to juggle my writing, my social media strategy, my networking activities and my ongoing professional development while holding down a full-time job, raising a family and staying even a little bit sane? The jury is out on which ball will fall first. Assuming of course that I can get them all in the air at once.
Then I spent ten days being too afraid to check my emails. This is not the ordinary form of technophobia but a much more visceral concern. Although quite common, there is no official definition for this but I can say with authority it has something to do with the possibility of finding a rejection letter lurking behind a benign subject line.
The un-Ken HARDCOPY workshop at Tilleys reminded me that all of us HARDCOPIERS were in the same boat (some even brought their computers...but I can’t speculate on the level of email checking that occurred). And let’s not get started on the implications of a mixed metaphor in which electrical implements could be juggled in a flotation device. It seemed at that time that the HARDCOPY Round II result was still weeks away.
So buoyed by the prospect that my current email list was in fact benign, I chanced a look and found to my amazement a missive from the ACT Writers Centre (one juggle ball takes a tentative throw and catch). I had to read it three times to double check that I really understood what it said. My manuscript had been selected! This was followed by a feeling of euphoria (all balls thrown wildly into the air) which was immediately tempered by the Facebook posts of others who had not made it through (balls on the ground).
This morning I woke up and realised I’ve been holding my breath all week, waiting for the official results to be posted on the ACT Writers website. Using a sporting analogy, I’ve been Keeping A Lid On It. Strangely, the emotional rollercoaster came to land at the feet of my high school PE teacher, whose astute observation that I had no ball sense might even have nudged me closer to my writing future. So thanks Mrs Barnes. And by the way, I think my ball sense is improving.