Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~ The Dalai Lama
Last week I talked about fear in writing, but there is something else that is better, Joy.
There are many things that can cause joy for a writer.
- The first time you finish a book
- Get an agent
- Get a publisher
- The first time you see your book on the shelf at a bookstore.
Each one of these has its better points.
That first book is important because it tells you all your doubts about finishing it were wrong. Every time you see it on your computer screen, staring at you, or the manuscript written in notebooks stacked to your mid-shin. Those are the moments that you should feel joy. You’ve accomplished something a lot of writers don’t do, finish.
Finding your agent is another step on the path to publication and finding your joy.
The denial letters stack up, but you keep sending it out, because you’re a writer and that’s what writers do. No matter how bad you feel when those slips come back there will always be one that gives you that joy, the glimmer of hope you’re on the right track. It could be a note on the slip or something else, but you will feel that joy!
Staring at the number of things you have to do as a writer feels like you’re climbing a hill, but you know at the top of the hill is the end, at least the end of one path. The next path belongs on the following hill, and continues on…
Each step along the path is another toward your goal.
Finding the right publisher is a part of the process, part of finding your joy as a writer. Will they like it, will they make you change things, will they destroy your book. Remember they’re not trying to destroy your book, they’re trying to help you along the path. They are another hill to climb toward the top. But, remember the top never truly appears. You have different hills to climb with each book.
Each book will take a different path than the last, but you will find the path sooner, instead of later.
Publication (Seeing the Book in a store)
This is the point where you quite possibly could be running up and down the aisles of the store showing everyone your book. Don’t do that, you could get kicked out, unless you want the publicity, then go right ahead.
This type of joy is the one every writer hopes for, publication. Whether you’re sitting in a room at night alone, or in an office cubicle clicking away when your boss isn’t watching, this is the joy that makes all those times worth it.
Are you finding your writing joy? Why or why not?