Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends and family about the book I’m writing. Most days I welcome questions like these; they give me a chance to talk about my favorite subject and the coolest person in the entire world: Me. But recently these questions have been making me feel shy for a minute or two, something that I’m decidedly not. So I started wondering why this could be happening, and I came to a slightly uncomfortable realization.
As you can probably tell from my recent post about positivity, I spend a lot of my life choosing to be happy. It’s something that I’ll never want to change because it really has made my life significantly better. Choosing to be happy has turned happiness into an almost default mode so that I no longer have to choose it anymore; I generally just feel energetic, positive, and unstressed almost every day.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes get frustrated or feel insecure. Saying that those things didn’t happen to me would be a huge lie, and I only lie on this blog when I’m trying to make a joke (and I always fess up afterwards).
Everyone gets frustrated. Everyone feels insecure at one point or another.
When it happens to me I usually take a step back to deal with it. I concentrate and think hard. I take some me time, just five or ten minutes, let it wash over me, then come to terms with it. Then *Poof*, I’m back to normal.
But it does happen and there is one time when it happens the most (I would hazard a guess that this happens a lot to aspiring or unpublished writers).
When my friends ask me about my writing I am often at a loss of what to say. They want to know when my book will be finished, if I’m any closer to being published, how everything is coming along. And those are great questions. I’m actually glad they ask them because it means they care.
But what do I tell them? That ‘Yes, I did finish that book I was working on last year’, but ‘No, I don’t think it’s going to be published’, because ‘Honestly, I don’t think it’s good enough. It was better than the last one, though, and I’m really excited about this next one. Most authors write five, ten, fifteen whole books before they get published.’
It’s a little disappointing for them to hear, just as it is for me to say. I wholeheartedly wish I had cooler news to share. And I will. I just don’t… yet.
So I ask myself some follow up questions. What do I have to show for my time? I write a lot. I blog and I have fun doing it. All my friends know I want to be a writer; some of them have known it for years and years. So why am I not published? Why don’t I feel ready?
Well, part of it has to do with the fact that I have a life running at a million miles a minute (and I love it). I just moved in with my girlfriend, and before that I was working really hard at my job as a management consultant (I had just been promoted), and before that I was traveling, and before that… and before that… and before that. But these parts of life can’t be thought of as distractions, they are my life, so when I consider what might be sidetracking me from my career as a world-famous novelist I don’t feel bad at all, I feel grateful and happy. Because I don’t think I’m being sidetracked at all; I think I’m living my life the way I want to.
But the writing is still there, and it always will be, and if anything it’s stronger now than ever before. My stories continue to get better and I continue to learn. And I am so close. I don’t think it’s an ‘If’ but a ‘When’.
So for now I still sometimes feel frustrated and insecure, but never for too long. I mean, come on… I wrote a book! I wrote several, actually! And one day soon one of them will be on a bookshelf near you. Maybe it’ll be on a list somewhere (Oprah call me and we’ll talk). How cool is that?
I’d love to hear if any of you ever feel the same, whether it’s about writing or some other passion.
How do those conversations with your friends and family go? Do you have any silver bullet answers? Or are you a Batwriter, and nobody knows your secret identity?
Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to Salt Lake City / Snowbird for a snowboard trip with my family, where I’ll be (A) a liability on the slopes, and (B) experimenting with a new form of art that I’ve always wanted to try: Photography. My new Nikon D3400 and I will be reporting on those adventures in a post next week (if I don’t break both of my arms that is). I’ll see ya then.