Lately, I've been house hunting.
This is our tenth year living here and we're thinking we'd like a bit more privacy. We live in a subdivision now, with great views, lots of neighborhood kids, big yards, and a good location. ZERO privacy, tho. And with some gigantic houses being built on the bluff above us, we anticipate even more people staring at our backyard.
So I've been trolling the Internet, hoping for the perfect place, location and price. Needless to say, I haven't found it. Let me clarify. *clears throat* I haven't found a place I'm willing to afford. The houses are too expensive, too far away, too small, too big, too ugly, etc., etc., etc. The more I look, the more I realize how fortunate I am.
And this brings me to my writerly point (which you knew was coming). Full disclosure here: I've been on submission a total of five times. FIVE. This last time came really close, but still...I didn't sign. When it became clear my beloved sub was getting trunked, I wondered whether it was worth continuing this frustrating little hobby of mine. Pretty much everyone I started out blogging with over the past 3-4 years has sold or self-pubbed - either way, their work is out there and they're building their brand, engaging readers and going on with the business of being an Author.
Yet here I sat, typing away like a demented hermit who talks to herself continually and laughs at her own jokes while crickets chirp in the background. My wheels are spinning, spinning, but I'm going nowhere.
And then I read this awesome post by Robin LaFevers. It changed my perspective entirely. And I started looking around at all those Authors - who have as many, if not more, challenges than I have in this writing life - and realized how fortunate I am.
Don't get me wrong. One of my goals is to sign a pub contract but it's just ONE of my goals. As the years have passed, that goal has gotten farther and farther down the list. Every time I walk into the library, I see all those shelves of books written so hopefully years or decades ago and I realize that even if I get a deal, my book will sit there, too. Gathering dust. No amount of angst I feel now will change its ultimate fate.
Stories come from life - they are not life. There's no plateau of "success" in Author-Land, partly because success is defined so many ways.
Any day that I make a positive difference in my students' lives, or create a memory with my kids, or complete a difficult task or share a quiet moment with my husband, or take a nice long hike in the mountains, is a success. Any day I manage to type more than 100 words that are somewhat cohesive..and then get edited out later...is still a success because I got to do what I (still, hopelessly) love.
I'm in the valley of my writing journey. The view isn't that great and the hiking is sometimes lonely. Which means there's nobody around to please but me. The narcissist in me delights in the fact I am the most important person in this valley (unlike every other part of my life.)
So I'm dawdling along the path, throwing off my pack and napping in the sun... in no hurry, just happy to be here, in this house I've made mine.