I’m sitting in the backyard with a cup of coffee and the remains of the traveling brownies (shh, don’t tell) looking at the very green world around me.  Lots of rain this summer, and the trees are happy.  Son Two has recently mowed the yard and it smells green and fresh.  Dragonflies are sailing around, bees buzzing.  Sadly, no humming birds, as the booming business we were doing in sugar water was commandeered by a colony of bald faced hornets and the entire operation had to be shut down.

Clouds pile up on all four corners of the horizon indicating yet more rain to come, but for this moment the sun is warm and this is a good place to be.

I’m cherishing this moment, practicing the art of contentment.  A difficult art for me these days, because I want things that are out of reach.

I want to write a brilliant book.  I want every agent I query to respond with enthusiasm, request that I send a full, and then offer to sign me up. I want a publisher and a release date, and my wonderful, magical book on the shelves of all of the book stores. While we’re at it, I’d also like to be independently wealthy and travel a lot. In the words of the rock band, Queen, “I want it all, and I want it now.”

As my friend Jamie used to say, “it’s good to want things in life.”  In case you missed it, the correct intonation of this phrase involves irony.  Wanting is a long journey from having, and most of us want what we can’t have. The reality is, the chances of getting what you want depend on what you’re after, which leads to my current problem.  In the whole laundry list of things I want, there is only one that I really have any control over – the part where I want to write a brilliant book.

I don’t quite believe that if I just keep writing and learning and revising I’ll write a novel that the world will fall in love with.  I do, however, believe that my writing will continue to get better, and that every book I write can be better than the one before it. This is not an immediate reward and there is no magic wand involved.  Long, hard work over a period of time will be required.

As for the rest of it, who knows? We’ve all seen the statistics on rejections: talented writers and beautiful books get passed over all of the time.  There are no guarantees in this business. And once an author’s books do make it onto the shelves, there are new hurdles, new goals, a whole new set of things to want.

And so I am practicing contentment. Here, in this moment, with what I have.

Attention: I now interrupt this Blog Post to redirect you to Deadline Dames, where Lilith Saintcrow puts me to shame with a moving and heartfelt post that reminds me, once again, of the realities of this writing life. Nothing I can add to that.

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