• Wishful thinking

    by Gary Huerta

    A number of years ago, when my marriage was falling apart and other circumstances were facilitating a nihilistic lifestyle as a means of survival, I spent many summer days laying on an inflatable raft, avoiding my life by basking in the Southern California sun. With the exception of bankruptcy, divorce attorneys, an estranged wife and collection agencies constantly calling, it was glorious.

    Whenever someone would happen by the pool to ask me what I was working on, I’d sarcastically reply, “A case of skin cancer!” I’d then continue to sip my vodka on the rocks.

    Guess what happened a couple of years later? I got skin cancer on my face, which required surgery to remove.

    This was the Universe gently reminding me to “Be careful what you wish for”.

    Several years later, I began writing in earnest, penning my first novel, “The Cliché (and other short stories for the American attention span)”. Like most new writers, I began the task of seeking a literary agent. Again, like most new writers, I received rejection after rejection after rejection. In the back of my mind was always the nagging thought that I was not really a writer. The book was not really worthy of representation. So I struggled through the process until I read an article in Writer’s Digest by a literary agent on the East Coast.

    “I like that guy,” I thought. He could be my agent. I sent a query letter and bingo! When my thought was focused on the right result, I had an agent. Unfortunately, the nagging thought that the book wasn’t good enough continued to undermine its success and so I got my wish. The book went nowhere.

    Again the Universe prodded. I paid no attention.

    Fast-forward a few years to my current occupation as a columnist. During slow news weeks, I would fill my column with fodder from my own life, often calling the effort a, “self-evisceration”, because of my tendency to leave the ugly truths about myself intact for readers to dissect. My habit of literary Hari Kari continued with even greater enthusiasm during the writing of my last novel, “DIVORCE – A Survival Guide For Men”. In offering advice on how to survive divorce, I documented a great number of mistakes I made, literally cutting my life open for all to see.

    Guess what happened? I sliced myself a real hernia. And now I face evisceration at the hands of a surgeon for the first time in my life.
    This time I took notice.

    Do I think I manifested these physical maladies with my words and thoughts? I suppose I do. That said, I see tremendous upside in my ability to manifest these negative things. Why? If I can turn my negative words and thoughts into a physical reality, what’s to stop me from transforming positive thought into something? Nothing.

    The truth is, I’ve known my entire life that I’ve had this ability. I haven’t just manifested negative things. I brought about a lot of good things in my life. I once wrote a check to a car dealer for a new car and pinned it above my computer. Less than one year later, I had that exact car. True story.

    Every job I ever really wanted, I’ve managed to get. I got the girl I wanted the same way – although years later, I did discover it was a wish based much more on style rather than substance.

    Here’s the point… I’m at a crossroads, trying to manifest a career as a writer. Not just a side gig, but a real, bona fide endeavor. As I said earlier, I’ve always been nagged by the internal struggle that I’m not good enough to succeed. This is not uncommon for creative people to doubt their ability. Funny thing is, this time I truly believe my book is just as good as anything out there and better than a lot. Not to get all Stewart Smalley, but gosh darn it, people like it and I’m starting to firmly believe I have what it takes to be a writer.

    Which brings me to a dream I had last night. As I was standing in line waiting to rent skis, I began talking to a woman. We made talk about skis and family and such. And then quite naturally, she asked me what I did. With no hesitation, I said, “I am a writer.”

    This is the first time I can recall making such a definitive proclamation of my life’s path in a dream. Upon hearing myself make such a decisive claim, I woke up instantly. When my eyes opened, I was pleased to be so sure of my response to the woman in the dream.

    It seems my sleeping mind is now aligned with my waking mind. We both believe I am, or can be a writer. Now all I have to do is convince a literary agent and a publisher of the same.

    Fortunately, I happen to believe they will be considerably easier to convince than my subconscious. It took me decades to get that thing on board.

    So here’s to the power of intention. Let’s see where it takes me next. Hopefully, it won’t lead me to a ski resort where I work part time in the rental shop.

      • Sayitsnotso

      • December 2, 2012 at 4:47 am
      • Reply

      Brilliant! Sounds like you have a new book in the works that challenges readers to examine obstacles that may be hindering them from the pursuance of their life’s dream. “Live Your Dream Life! How to consume life instead of being consumed by it.

    • Funny, I always thought of you as a writer from the first column I read from you. Manifest it for yourself. I see it.

    • When I retired I stopped writing academic work and took up memoir and fiction. I had to relearn writing and it hasn’t been easy. Talk about self doubt and rejection! I asked one of my successful fiction writing friends what her secret was, and she said “persistence.” I loved that answer.

      • Kelvin

      • December 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm
      • Reply

      Imagine what we can do if we just get out of our own way. You know as well as anyone that it doesn’t matter how many people tell you you’ve got what it takes. You’ve got to buy in. I’m reading your book now and will write a review on Amazon when I’m finished. Keep writing. You rock!

      • Swirley

      • December 3, 2012 at 11:30 am
      • Reply

      Of course you’re a writer, dingbat!! Smack yourself to wake up and turn on the Himalayan salt lamp for more positive ions.

      • Matt Najmowicz

      • December 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm
      • Reply

      Loved it so much I read it twice Gary. Well done and so brutally honest, can’t love it enough!

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