Digging for the Pony

Most of us have heard the story about the man who wanted to teach an optimist a lesson. He’d finally had enough of the optimist’s good nature, sunny outlook, and buoyant spirit. Frankly, the optimist bugged the living daylights out of him. So, he filled the optimist’s room with manure. Instead of freaking out (as most people would), the optimist grabbed a shovel and got to work. After all, the optimist reasoned, with all this manure, “There just has to be a pony in here somewhere!”

Normally, I totally identify with the pony-loving optimist. I lean toward the bright side like plants turn their leaves to the sun. I look for the good side in people whose good side might measure .3 micrometers in width. Despite multiple encounters to the contrary, I generally assume that folks will live up to my expectations that they be honest, thoughtful, and compassionate. I’m a full-bore, obnoxious Pollyanna, if truth be told.
So it’s more than a little disconcerting that life these days is backfilling that room with even more manure than usual despite my cheerful digging. I think I’ve gained traction at school, then one meeting with assorted powers that be has me doubting both my ability and my stamina. Increasing demands on teachers are pretty much sucking the fun out of my day-to-day work, so that leaves little energy for things I’d like to be doing when school’s out, like…oh, I don’t know…WRITING?
If you think about it, though, writing is a perfect vocation for a Pollyanna. So many things add to the manure pile: rejection, market woes, manuscripts that won’t behave, characters acting out of character, false starts, dreck masquerading as prose–it’s enough to make any sane person throw up her hands and switch to knitting, which is far more controllable and produces tangible rewards.
Luckily, writers aren’t sane. So despite the overflow of stupid in my life right now, Pollyanna will end up bracing herself with an iced tea and a couple of cookies, picking up the MacBook-shaped shovel, and getting back to work on the current WIP. And someday, since I’m really really positive, I’ll have my pony, which will look amazingly like a book contract. Who knows? Depending on the contract, I may end up with a real live pony to boot.
Back to the stables!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *