Because of a medical condition, I’m required to take potassium chloride twice a day. It usually comes in a honking big pill that could choke a horse. In a liquid form, it’s flat out nasty tasting. For years, pharmaceutical companies have struggled for a way to 1. make the pill smaller or 2. make the liquid pleasing to the palate. Recently, my doctor accidently prescribed the liquid form. It came in a powder that you mix with water or juice.
Again, due to my medical condition, I can’t drink juice without a meal (real hard to do at work!), so I have to mix it with water. The first time, I took only a sip and thought I was going to gag! Holy septic sludge, Batman! It was beyond nasty; more like chemical torture. I started working on getting the pills back, but until I could work things out, I had to keep taking the powder. So what I did was pinched my nose, chugged it down, and I didn’t take a breath until I have taken a sip of something strong to clean my palate. Jim Beam works well!
Meanwhile, it brought to mind certain aspects of writing that you need to “hold your nose and chug it down”. For instance, setting up booksignings. There is nothing I hate more than selling and when you approach a bookseller for a signing, that’s what you do. Only you don’t sell your book; you’re selling yourself as an author that can bring in paying customers to the store. But I’ve done it. I’ve actually faced store owners and asked for a signing. I’ve gotten gig, but afterwards, I always feel the way I do after taking the liquid potassium chloride…relieved that a nasty task is done.
There are so many other things; pitching to an editor or agent, filing a more complicated tax return, getting rejections or a bad review, etc. When these things happen, you just have to “hold your nose and chug it down”. Luckily, there are things that are like pills. That call or email that says you sold. That first royalty check you can wave in front of all those doubters. The love and support of your fellow writers. Sometimes these events can seem too big to swallow, but you deserve them, so do it.
And to my sisters of the keyboard in RWI…thank you for being my “pills”!