Canada, cats, Dubrovnik, ex-husbands, freecell, graduate school, self-doubt, Writing, young woman
…the cats were wrong again. Hah! I finished the Dubrovnik-Draft.
In the middle of my gnashing of teeth, the cats disdain for my procrastinating ways and what was surely the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome from too many games of Freecell, I remembered The Good Enough Solution.
It had been so long since I’d written words for others to read, I had forgotten it. I learned it during those dark, early days of My Life in Canada. When, among other stress-filled fun (like being a “new” wife at age 49 with someone who would murmur in his sleep “I can’t do this! I can’t do this!” Another story.), I was in a touchy-feely, participatory graduate program.
Not an ideal place for a shy woman…especially an American one. My first day in class a student stood up and boldly said, “We should close the border! Keep Americans Out.” I kept my mouth shut after that. Lay low.
But it was not to be. My thesis director decided that all of her research assistants should have chapters in her book. It was only right. I wanted to say “No, thank you.” But I knew it was one of those Opportunities Not to Be Missed. It would be my first published work.
Terror. People would read it. Academics would read it. They would know what a fraud I was. I spent agonizing nights taking up the murmuring-husband’s chant: “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.”
Then, one day, one of my two friends, probably tired of my moaning, said, “Ann, you don’t have to write the best chapter ever written. You just have to write the Good Enough Chapter.”
What a thought!
So I wrote the good enough chapter on tomatoes and fast food restaurant workers in Toronto (read the book: Women Working the NAFTA Food Chain).
And it was an opportunity not to be missed…that’s how I met my whizbang editor, Beth McAuley…who would now get the Good Enough Dubrovnik Chapter and all the other good enough chapters after that…if she still wanted them…
Irene S said:
Annie, I will always remember the day you leaned over my desk and asked” what are YOU doing here?? We have been friends since and I feel blessed!