My Inner Rudy

by Amy on December 14, 2018

“Sometimes a winner is a dreamer who just won’t quit.” – from the Rudy trailer

I’ve been thinking about the movie Rudy. Do you remember it? Since he was a kid, Rudy dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. Being on the small side though, everyone (especially his Dad) told him it was impossible.

I feel like Rudy.

I too have a dream. I want to write a memoir. A good one. But I’m the literary equivalent of “too short.” They say you have to be famous or you need to have lived through something dramatic or, at the very least, you have to be an exceptional writer. Me? Let’s be real. Not even niche famous.  I have never lived on a commune, my parents were not mentally ill or homeless, my brother never tried to kill me (to my knowledge), I never got myself into Harvard without even a primary school education… And I’m not much of a writer past about 1000 words.

Last week I finished another edit of my book. I sent it out to five more beta readers. Then I did something really reckless in an unexpected moment of bravado… I decided to go ahead and hire my favorite memoirist to read it.

Holy. Shit.

A few hours after I turned the manuscript over to the literary equivalent of Meryl Streep my husband, by sheer coincidence, decided to page through the book.

He didn’t have to get far…

“A Cautionary Tale of the Pursuit of Happiness without Self-Acceptance,” he frowned at the subtitle.

“That’s a mouthful. I’m not even sure what that means…”

Then when he got as far as the second sentence, “We didn’t get stuck in one of those treatment centers where the patients sit in the same room, one big circle, hooked up to IV’s, each patient staring off into space, a distant look in their eyes.”

He said, “doesn’t ‘a distant look in their eyes’ kind of say the same thing as ‘staring off into space’?”

How did I not notice that after a kajillion edits? I opened my laptop and deleted the redundant words.

Is it just me by the way or does it seem like people come out of the woodwork to challenge our resolve when we are at our most vulnerable, after we’ve done something very brave-stupid?

Of course I started to panic because the famous memoirist has my manuscript with the redundant words and too complicated subtitle. So my brain went to…

What the hell was I thinking? I can’t write. I shouldn’t write. Maybe I should go get it back from her. She has better things to do then read my crappy prose. Does it even qualify as prose?

In times like this I like to think about Rudy running onto the Notre Dame football field wearing his Notre Dame green and gold, fists pumping high in the air, triumphant.

And I am reminded of a saying I heard somewhere, “99 percent of success boils down to one thing, not giving up.”

Rudy found a way.

And so I will channel my inner Rudy, swallow my pride and keep going even if she hates the book. Because I’ve come this far, because my story matters and because I’ve always wanted to be the protagonist in an inspirational sports movie.

And because…Sometimes a writer is a dreamer who just won’t quit.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Florence December 15, 2018 at 8:00 am

Dear Amy ! I am rooting for you and will buy your book as soon as it is out !
I love all your posts , your love of tennis and your very refreshing way to be yourself
Happy writing xxx flo
Greetings from Paris France ✈️☀️‍♀️❄️✨⭐️

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