I once read a truly fabulous piece of advice;
‘Never ask a single person if they’re “seeing anyone special”, an unemployed person if they’ve found a job, or a married couple when they’re planning to have children. You’re not making conversation. You’re starting someone on the road to Prozac.’ – Page 341-2, A Total Waste of Make-up, Kim Grunenenfelder, 2005, Piatkus Books Ltd*.
To this I would like to add, ‘Never ask an aspiring author if they are published yet.’
Yesterday, an acquaintance I had not seen in a month, asked if I was published yet. I could have answered, ‘Would I still be sitting at work if I was?’ I could have explained that the road to publishing involves years of dedication, regular practice of the craft, a great story, better editing and then a little piece of luck to manage to have the completed work seen by the right person, at the right time.
Instead, I simply replied, ‘No.’
Those two simple letters convey a world of information and yet, in this case, are not something to be concerned with. No, I am not published, and no, it won’t happen this year. But writing, as it is with life, is a journey, not a destination.
Being published does not guarantee happiness, nor does it guarantee that you will be published again. It will not make you a better person, even if it ticks something off your bucket list.
Writing, on the other hand, can make you a happier person, if you enjoy the process. But that happiness should not be dependent on publication**. Writing makes me happy. It is a simple fact which has been confirmed a number of times over. Stories, whether written or read, are an essential part of my day.
So while I will continue to work towards publication, I refuse to look only at the destination; I will enjoy the journey as well.
*A Total Waste of Make-up is not only a story of trying to figure out the dating scene, but it is filled with advice and dating rules, all written down for the character’s future great-great-grand-niece.
**Although I doubt any aspiring author would turn down publication.
One Comment Add yours
You go girl! So true, and well said. Enjoy your journey, even the bumps in the road where you can.