I come back for a nap, get under the covers, and Makenzie and Jess run in two minutes later.
“Do you have any antibac soap? I always use boiling water on the needle first, but I don’t have any of that. So I think it will be fine,” Makenzie tells me as Jess uses the bathroom.
“I want a spiral on my wrist,” Jess states as she walks out of the bathroom, washing her hands with our not-for-stick-and-poke soap.
“Seriously though. Do you have antibac soap,” Makenzie says, tapping her knuckles impatiently on our counter, and pulling out her needle taped to the end of a pencil.
“You haven’t written anything for awhile, Annie. I’m happy it’s about about…” Jess lifts the right of her ass and farts, “this…. Are you sure I’m not going to get hepatitis, Makenzie?”
“Let’s just say, I’m pretty sure.” Makenzie looks back at Jess coyly.
“Gloves for PROFESSIONALISM. So I don’t get any stds from you…” Makenzie smiles and pops her latex gloves.
“How do you know how far to go, Makenzie?”
“You just poke it until it pops.”
“Til what pops?”
“Your skin…Should I have you sign a paper saying you’re not going to sue me?”
“Like, how is this safe? Annie. Can you come hold my asscheek? OW!”
It all just clicked.
We’re sitting in a two hour team meeting recounting our memories, experiences, stories from the year. And I’m furiously scribbling it all down in the unairconditioned room, the fan blowing my notebook pages just as agressively as my pen scratches the story.
And when we talk about what we want to be doing in five years, Tony says he wants to be reading about himself in my book. And I say, I think I’m actually going to do it. I’ve decided I’m going to write up a query letter in the weeks following this, and write up an outline for the book, and make a list of all the themes that I want to tie together. And I’m going to send it to publishers with a link to my blog, saying hey, I’ve got all of this material. And this organization motivation to make it into something real. I’ve got a voice, and I’ve got a year’s worth of experience, with ten other perspectives that I know almost as well as my own by now. And I’m going to pitch it to them, and I’m not going to care if they pick it up or not. It’s worth a try, and it’s me dipping my toes in the water. Worst case, no one reads my query letter, best case- I get to write for free for a year.
But I’m going to write this book this year. I’m going to continue to live my life, and stimulate myself with travel and jobs, but my full time job is going to be writing. And I’m taking a gap year to do it. I’m going to crank out a full blown fucking novel of this year. Creative nonfiction. And I’m so ready for it. I feel it in my fingertips.
And looking around at my teammates, I realized that I’m not going to miss them desperately in a few days when we all part ways. I’m going to have them in my life everyday for the next year, in the best way, writing it all out, and growing, and living and using the present to influence the way I write about this past year. And it’s all going to come out. And it’s going to be a full piece.
Then I will send it off to publishers again. If they want it, great. And if they don’t want it, I’m going to self publish it on Amazon. And then I’m going to move on and find another experience like this year to live and take notes on. And then write again with reflection, and complete another piece to publish and share.
I figured out how I write this year.
On reflection during the meeting, one of the questions posed was what did we think we would get out of this year, before starting it? And I wrote that I wanted to travel, to write, to meet new people and challenge myself. And I followed through on that, man. Through all the struggles that make me question who I am and if I succeeded in this year, when I look back, I did exactly as I set out to do. That is exactly what I carried on with, and where I ended up, stronger than before. Just to continue on with it. And I realize that I was never directionless. I’ve always had it. It’s in my fingertips. And now I’ve figured out how to use that in the way that I am going to use for the rest of my life.
So take this blog post as my new thing that I will reflect back on in a year, and say, yeah. I did all of that. And I’m going to do it all again, too. Write, travel, meet new people and challenge myself. Write up a query letter, make an outline, list of themes touching on, and a link to my blog as proof of a set of invaluable notes to create the story. Send it all out in a package with careless abandon. Because I don’t need anyone to want me to write it. I want to write it. And I’d like to start taking the chances to learn how to get people to start paying me for it.