Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Enjoy the Journey

A popular post from June 2010

By Julie Wright

Again, I am going to quote Barbara Hambly from the CONduit conference because she said many things over the course of the weekend that resonated with me.

Someone in the audience during her main address asked what she felt her greatest success was. They of course meant her writing. They wanted to know which of the scores of books she'd written had been the jewel in her literary crown.

Her reply?

The relationships in her life that had lasted 30 plus years.

It was at this same conference where I was on a panel and someone asked me how it felt to finally "arrive" as a published author. My reply?

I haven't arrived. There are still goals to achieve, stories to write, things that must be done. Before publication, my only thought was, "If I could just see my name on a book jacket, THEN I will be happy." After my first book came out it was, "If I could just see my name on a best seller's list, THEN I will be happy." After that happened, it was, "If I could just get published with the best and biggest publisher in my market, THEN I will be happy." After that happened, the happiness was dependant on sales numbers, getting an agent, being a finalist for a highly esteemed award, and on and on and on.

And was I happy for all those things?

Sure I was. But those things didn't maintain Eternal-Happiness-Forever. I still have bad days, insecure days, worried days. My journey to publication has been a rough road and I have yet to find ultimate satisfaction with my chosen career as a writer.

In the movie Cool Runnings (yes, I am old and did see this film in the theater) there is a scene where the young man asks about the gold medal in the Olympics. His coach made a comment that has stayed with me, "If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it."

It took me a few years to realize that if I'm not happy without all the trappings of publication, I will never be happy with them.

Realizing that has helped me to move forward, to chase dreams without losing the importance of living in each moment and finding joy for the sake of the moment.

As I said before there are still goals to achieve, stories to write, things that must be done. I haven't arrived. And I will likely never arrive because I'm not interested in being finished with writing. I'm interested in the journey. I'm interested in the story I'm writing, the book that's coming out right now, the friends I am making who really do give me Eternal-Happiness-Forever.

And if someone asks me what my greatest success is, my answer will be very similar to Barbara's. My greatest success is my family and friends. My greatest success is found in the relationships that make it all worth while, the people who laugh and cry with me, and who make every day twenty shades of awesome.

Don't be so quick to your finish lines that you forget to enjoy the race.


Kimberly said...

I love the perspective you've found and shared with us here. Deliciously thought-provoking. Also, I'm glad for you.

Heather B. Moore said...

Great thoughts!

annie valentine said...

Perfectly said, I couldn't agree more.