Wanting to be stung by a scorpion?

       For the past seven and a half weeks, I have been enjoying immersing myself in my sabbatical…but I keep procrastinating with concern to one thing that I really do want to accomplish during my time away.  Throughout my sabbatical I have been investing rich time in writing the manuscript for a book I hope to be able to submit to a publisher.  The book is tentatively titled, He Calls Me His Friend.  In it I seek to bring to life the passages in the gospels in which Jesus speaks words of endearment to individuals (calling them son or daughter or friend) or where the writer announces Jesus’ love or compassion for an individual.  I hope with this book to help the reader to embrace more fully that which I am learning to grasp more fully myself: the depth of God’s intimate love for us.  I greatly enjoy the work of the writing I am doing each day…but I keep procrastinating over one thing.

       To submit a manuscript to a Literary Agent who will then pitch it to publishers, I need to be able to “sell” to an agent why my book is worth publishing out of all the book proposals they receive, why my book is better than any others on the same topic, and why I am uniquely qualified to bring these truths to light. 

       Yesterday I decided that I needed to begin tackling this assignment and sat down at my laptop to work on it.  Shortly into my time at my laptop I began to reflect on a conversation we had at dinner the night before.  We got to talking about desert scorpions and how painful their sting can be.  Believe it or not…as I sat at my laptop, wanting to begin working on my pitch to a prospective literary agent, I found myself almost wishing that I could get stung by a scorpion so that I would have an excuse not to work on this pitch.

       What’s going on in me that I would contemplate the benefits of a scorpion sting?

       Much of it has to do with the fact that I grew up being praised for being quiet and not getting in anyone’s way.  To put myself forward, to flaunt myself, to show myself off is drastically contrary to my sense of identity and to the kind of role I have filled in life.  In making such a pitch, it’s almost as if I am taking my skin and turning it inside out. 

       Also, I am afraid.  What if I make the best possible pitch and no literary agent likes what I propose?  What will this say about me and about what I have poured myself into in my writing?  Will I feel that what I have poured my heart and soul into is judged to be worthless?  How will I then feel about myself? 

       Well…I can’t seem to find any scorpions right now…and I have procrastinated enough through this blog entry…so I guess that I need to move on in trying to tackle the next portion of my pitch to an agent.  Aaaah!

2 responses to “Wanting to be stung by a scorpion?”

  1. Karla Shaeffer says :

    Dear Tom,
    I think that it is perfectly normal to feel insecure about “pitching your ideas and yourself”. If you think about it we all have to do it to get a job (resume and interview) I am sure that you have a strong resume and will interview well as I am confident and know you, but more than that the God of our universe knows you and loves you and I am sure that you have consulted Him in this endeavor. ” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (see 4:7 too). So, forget the scorpion and convince the agent!

  2. Laura Ullrich says :

    You make me laugh! But I totally understand procrastinating on something. But I have loved reading your blog, and think that you always speak and write so earnestly, and I believe that you do have something to share. I support you!

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