One of my favorite quotes ever: “This is fun – and dangerous. I was born for this!”
Thus exclaimed my son Jimmy in May, 2010 when he first laid eyes upon the “rope course” – a test of courage (or maybe foolhardiness) for visitors to North Bay, a retreat center so far north up the Chesapeake shoreline that it may as well be in Pennsylvania.
It panicked me just to see the darned thing. It’s a series of wobbly wooden planks and other little rickety places to put your feet as you step from tree limb to tree limb, fifty feet over a ravine. As eight-year-old James buckled into his safety harness and put many of the adults to shame with a rope course performance worthy of Jules Leotard, his wimpy father’s heart went into palpitations.
These last several days, I’ve been forcing myself to discover more about the nooks and crannies of the publishing business circa 2011. I’ve stepped out onto a rope course of my own choosing, because I’m bound and determined to negotiate these moving wooden planks as the book business continues to move forward at the speed of electrons. There are heroes and villains, opportunities and pitfalls aplenty. It looks like they’re all disguised as one another. Where should I aim my next footstep?
When he was up a tree, my son never looked down into the abyss and he paid extreme attention to what he was doing. With my publishing business education comes a hundred new ways to convince myself that I can’t achieve my objectives as an author. But I’m choosing to follow my son’s example. Because – I was born for this.