The Difference

I looked her up online
she’s a real one
looking for clues to the how
how can she do it?
with three?
there’s a picture of her desk online
it’s just a slightly messy desk on hardwood floor in the middle of the house with evidence of
kid stuff all around
not a special office hideaway retreat space dedicated quiet clean
a lot like my desk, house, hardwood floors
kid stuff all around
so I have no excuse

well, there’s the MFA and the job teaching writing
and the long list of what’s been published already
that I lack
but we’re the same age, hair color, freckles busy distracted
the other one also had the degree professional official resume publications
plus unique upbringing, memoir worthy
and blonde
but then I found out about her by sitting across from her
at a training
because some of the work we do is the same, actually
with the same qualifications
but I’m not blonde or memoir worthy, so, there’s that
and they started a long time ago and focused on this more and some other excuses
wait, I have them here somewhere

they claim, they all claim, when I look them all up
the real ones
in my search for the clues to the how
to fight self-doubt and -loathing and fear and all the things I’m feeling
so that’s the same
and makes them seem not so special after all
but then what is the difference?
is it just the doing it?

I fear I don’t care enough
just an A minus B plus kind of care
like I always was in writing classes
just enough to want to write the first time but, oh, the editing
yeah I know how important it is blah blah
I’ve told my students that, insisted upon it myself
but the editing is
a judgment
and boring like practicing piano
and living up to someone else’s standards of what it is supposed to be

maybe it’s all about the editing
committing to worrying about someone else’s standards of what it is supposed to be
that’s my sticking point
or maybe it’s the not worrying about someone else’s standards of what it is supposed to be
it could be that, the confidence

or is it just the doing it?

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