Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Pseudo-No Post Friday

There is no post today, and here’s why:

At the tail end of July, I was hired by a local organization to fill a position on an interim basis. The previous occupant of said position was not up to the task. I was brought in because I know the boss and the boss knows me, and she was pretty confident that I could step in and hit the ground running. Also, I was available right away, and, finally, I was interested.

Now, the biggest, most pressing ‘to do’ on the ‘To do’ list I found when I started was to plan an event. I’ve been around plenty of events. I’ve planned parts of many an event, but I’ve never really run one from stem to stern. Naturally, I said, “Yeah, I can do that” when it came up in discussions about the position. As Dr. House says, “Everybody lies.” Not that I was lying, because I did indeed know I could do it. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, to be honest, and I take solace in the fact that this event is pretty much a one-time-only thing. I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, and if the director of this organization said to me, “Hey, we’re going to turn this position into ‘Event Planner’ and your going to do five, six, seven of these a year, do you want the job?” I’d probably say, “No, thank you” and run screaming from the room.

Well, the event is upon us. It’s tomorrow. There’s a lot to do today, there’s a lot to do tomorrow, but I’m almost to that point where I have to completely let go and let things happen. I have the people in place, the logistics taken care of, publicity has been done. Today is setting up the site, moving things from one place to another, making sure I really have the people in place after all. But I can’t control the weather and I can’t control the whether: the weather is looking like rain (it’s an outdoor event), and the ‘whether’ is whether anyone is going to show up or not, or whether they’re going to be happy with what we’re putting on.

Hey, it’s a lot like writing, isn’t it? You pour yourself into your book or your story, and when you think it’s ready, you release it to the world in some form, and it’s out of your hands. Of course, by Sunday, my event will be over. There will be some cleanup and a final report or two for the board and the bosses, but unless the event is either a way-beyond-expectations success or a disaster on the scale of Heaven’s Gate, I likely won’t hear of it again (it was proposed as a one-time-only event). A book that is being queried can keep bringing heartache, hope or joy weeks–even months–after the ‘event’.

How about that? I started this with the intention of saying, “Sorry, no post today, kinda busy” and ended up with a post. I hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope to be posting with a little more…cohesion next week. Be well!

9 Responses

  1. I was going to say that your post looks an awful lot like a post, but you beat me to it! Haha! Anyway, I hope your event goes off without a hitch or a glitch or a raindrop.

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