This thing doesn’t drive itself.

I came out of the bookstore, walked around the truck, unlocked the door, and got in. I waited there in the passenger seat. Then I realized I’d gone shopping on my own and had driven myself.

Ah. I glanced around to see if anyone was looking, got out of the truck, walked back around, and got in the driver’s side. I drove straight home.

Sometimes I’m waiting for someone else to come along and tell me my writing works, that it makes sense, that I know what I’m doing. Then I realize I’m alone in this thing.

I have really got to get this thing on the road because I don’t want to sit in the parking lot. To lose the metaphor, I have got to start polishing my writing and sending out query letters again.

What are you waiting for someone else to take of?

17 thoughts on “This thing doesn’t drive itself.

  1. Oh man, that is SO something I would do! It’s the price we writer pay for going around with our heads in stories all the time. I also wish someone indisputable would declare my writing “good”, but I guess that is what book buyers are for, eh?

  2. Waiting for the characters to step forth and get back into the driver’s seat (where they’d been in the first place). Sometimes, as you did when you found yourself in the passenger seat, they need to be reminded who’s driving. How does one effect that, you ask? By reminding them what they want.

  3. I think I’m with Sherri. I think I want someone “indisputable” to tag my work as “good” and then I’ll be content. (Yeah, right.) But that’s so subjective. And book buyers don’t always support “good” books (I will not cite examples to avoid arguments).

    But going to the passenger’s side? No one saw. Even if they did, they didn’t notice. 😉

    1. They probably did not notice. Ha.

      And buyers can’t ever agree on what a good book is–hence you not citing one. So if someone buys my book, I doubt I’ll be sure they know what they are doing.

  4. I shamefully don’t know how to drive yet. Such a native new yorker thing, but I don’t.

    However, I often have dreams about moving in vehicles… sometimes I am a passenger and sometimes I am the driver.

    I try to be the driver in my own life, but then I get scared and become a passenger again, waiting for someone to do all those things I am afraid of.


    I know the only way for me to succeed is to be the driver.

    I suppose this is the lesson I must learn in my life this time around.

  5. Luckily, you realized your mistake before the truck pulled out of the parking lot. 🙂

    I don’t know what (or who) I’m waiting for. I’ve been watching this sitcom, My Name Is Earl, in which the protagonist tries to live his life by the rules of karmic reward (he has a lot of catching up to do): if you do good things, you receive good things in return.

    It’s a hugely simplified view of karma. But from a certain perspective, one might remark that I seem to be (re-)building my writing career on the same theory: if I just “am” good enough, mysterious but benign outside forces will do all the “doing” for me. I’ll just wake up one morning and be instantly — and permanently! — fulfilled as a writer.

    I know, I know. Realistically speaking, I’ve gotta slide over behind the wheel sometime. Grrrrr.

  6. That is so cute, going to the passenger side!

    What you say applies not just to writing, but to all areas of life I think. I feel like for so many things I’ve only been a back seat passenger. Time to get behind that wheel and kick it!

  7. I wanted to introduce myself. I am somewhat new to the blog scene, yea…I’m about five years behind schedule, but so far your posts more than any other blog are inspiration for me. I’m looking forward to reading more. Your style of writing with short punchy sentences is something I do often in my writing but you are a born writer. This comes naturally to you.

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