“Heads down” yelled the stewardess. I heard the edge of hysteria in her voice as I leaned over and put my hands over my head. Just a few minutes ago, as my flight was coming in for a landing, the pilot had announced that there was a problem. He and his co-pilot, due to a malfunction, were unable to determine if the landing gear was down and they were not taking any chances. They were treating this as a potential plane crash and we would have to make preparation for a rough landing. We were going to be met by emergency vehicles.
I remember the overwhelming iciness of fear flowing over me as I heard this. There was no time to write notes and this was a few years before cell phones were the norm. I looked sideways at the woman sitting next to me. We’d taken our seats two hours ago and never spoken. I was in my early twenties, she was in her forties. Her face mirrored my own, nervousness and something close to panic. I blurted out, my first words to her. “I have to pee.” She laughed and for a split second our fear broke. She said she did too, than as the plane descended and the stewardesses yelled out the warnings, she grabbed my hand.
We hit the tarmac with a gentle thump. The landing gear had worked. Everyone on the plane cheered, and true enough the brightly colored emergency vehicles were there waiting.
We made it safely to our destination. I never saw that woman again.
I won’t ever forget that panic.
This brings me to the point of the story-fear.
I am hearing rumors, and reading about the realignments of publishing houses. Writers are nervous, old and new. Things are changing. Those of us who are unpublished writers are afraid. We wonder will we ever get published? Is it even possible? Are we pursuing a fools dream? Even seasoned authors are uneasy.
We all are on that plane, and we are not sure if the landing gear is going to come down. The possibility that all you are working for will come to nothing is very real. It inspires in us the dark iciness of panic. We could pretend things are not going to change and ignore it, or we could duck our heads down, and brace for impact.
I suggest we meet our fear head on, we acknowledge it, then clasp each other’s hands and forge ahead, keeping our eyes and ears wide open. Things are changing whether we like it or not, but we can meet it without being crippled by our fear. We can help each other. Stories are waiting to be told, and to be read. There is a place for all of us, although it may be far different than we expected.
Just wait and see. We’ll land safely on the other side.
What do you think? Do you think upheaval and possible changes coming in the publishing world is to be feared, or should we embrace it and make it work for us? What are your thoughts?