What you may not know is the degree to which I hate flying. And before you tell me that I'll just get used to it you should know that I fly a lot and have flown a lot since I was a very small child. I've flown overseas, I've flown over the country, for a while there I was flying every month back and forth from where we were living while my then fiance was in school to where we would be moving to right after his graduation.
I have never, ever, ever gotten used to it.
A few years ago, my husband and I took a vacation by ourselves, meaning without our then two children (now there are three.) We took a week by ourselves on Martha's Vineyard, which is an island off the coast of Massachusetts. To get there, we ended up going on this private airline that flies during the summer solely back and forth from various destinations to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Approaching this plane, I was very very nervous.
It was small. In fact, you and and the fourteen other passengers (if its full) are sitting with the pilots. We took off and the most surprising thing happened to me-- I LOVED IT. Sitting with the pilots, seeing what they witness from the cockpit, watching the coastline on the perfect clear morning as we travelled to our destination, I finally "got it." That was why people love to fly. The whole world was spread out in front of them. Later, on the return trip, we would come out of a cloud with Manhattan at night spread out in front of us. That, and granted I love NYC, was almost a spiritual experience for me. The lights seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time....It was incredible.
How does this relate to my writing? Well, I guess for me it always reminds me not to take the hard or scary for granted, sometimes life's most gifted moments come when you expect something to be really horrible. As I struggled to edit a monumental full length book where my editor-gasp-wanted massive rewrites, I never could have known that at the end I would read the book and feel that it was so good I couldn't wait to read it again.
I try to remind myself of this when I'm writing. Just because it scares me doesn't mean that I shouldn't be doing it.
This is not to say that I have enjoyed flying since my trip to MV. No, in fact, every time the planes bounces in the air I hate it. I grip the seat and hope that I'm not making my kids afraid of flying. Because I don't want them to be. Some day I want them to see NYC when they fly out of a cloud with the lights spread out like angels in the nighttime sky welcoming them home.