I spin the plastic wheel that sits slightly off-balance on the brightly colored cardboard. The numbers fly by, and finally land on 3.
I pick up the tiny orange gingerbread man and nudge him forward three spaces. I land on a “ladder” and pick up a card. “Your blog post was syndicated! Climb the ladder!” it says. I puff my chest out and move my guy up to the next row. Of course it was. I am awesome. I’m a writer. Wait….a Writer. Capital W. Look out folks, I am the next Pioneer Woman. Minus the domestic parts, of course.
Your turn. You spin and land on 7. 7 spaces ahead is a lucrative contract with a major parenting website. Lots of exposure. Accolades. New blog friends. You have been noticed. Plucked out of the group of plastic gingerbread men, holding our places on this thrift-store board.
I push the plastic lever forward, gently this time, hoping it makes it to 4. 4 spaces ahead is where the rest of my blog friends are, honing their craft in a writer’s workshop.
The spinner abruptly stops. 1 space. The “chute”. I close my eyes and drop my plastic man 3 levels down. A rejected essay. An overlooked memoir piece. It would’ve been perfect, if only the right person had read it….I tell myself. No, it wasn’t perfect. It was too exposed. Too long. Too flowery. Too off-topic. Too…..too….something that I have no idea about, so I can’t fix it. I draw a card. “Spin again”. The breath returns to my body and I start typing furiously. This one has it. It. That mysterious it factor that seeps with the perfect blend of parenting wisdom and dry humor. I hit publish. The silence is deafening.
Your turn. You approach the wheel with glee. This blogging thing is awesome, you are glowing, you are not afraid. I turn away as you move your piece forward, and head back to the computer.
Fuck the plastic wheel. It’s a piece of shit anyway.
When I get on that next ladder I’ll be sure to remember the little people, I tell myself. I’ll reply to every comment. I’ll answer questions that the new folks have. I’ll be gracious, and I won’t be afraid of exposing the stories that lie within me. I won’t bait people with silly texts that beg for attention. I won’t plead with brands for invites to anything. I am here to learn, I repeat. Over and over. I will be authentic, I will be kind, I will be original. I will find my true voice, even if it means that no one reads it. Oh my god, I gasp. What if no one reads it?
I spin again.