Monday, July 20, 2009

Joy in the Journey

By Ali Cross

Right now I’m writing like a madwoman. I am thoroughly infused with enthusiasm for my work and I’m accomplishing a lot. It’s fantastic and I wish it could be this way all the time.

If you asked me, I’d tell you I’m working this hard because an editor has asked for some changes with the possibility that the publisher might be interested in my book. But, really? We should always be this enthusiastic about our writing.

Why can’t we always write with the expectation that someone will want to publish our story? Isn’t that the point of what we’re doing anyway? Except, I don’t think we—or at least I—usually think of it that way.

I tend to think thoughts like I hope someone else will love my book as much as I do. Or, I just need to find someone who will believe in my story. When maybe the cold hard truth is, we don’t always believe in our stories ourselves.

Oh, we believe in them to an extent, otherwise we wouldn’t be writing them. But I think maybe we constantly doubt ourselves, fearing that perhaps what seems like brilliance when we’re at our computers, won’t hold up in the light of day—namely on a bookstore shelf.

As soon as someone with any clout validates our work, we gush with pride and, like I’m experiencing now, we take increased satisfaction in what we’re writing. It’s easy then, because someone likes us, someone wants to read our work.

But writing is mostly countless lonely hours where all we have is our imagination, our dedication and our hope to keep us company. What I suggest, is that we have more faith in what we’re doing day by day. Write today, with the belief, the knowledge, that what you are creating will one day be adored. Write with the expectation that someone with clout will love your work.

I would like to retain this enthusiasm even beyond my current situation. I don’t want to have to rely on someone else to infuse my heart with this joy in my work. I have a gift, yes I choose to believe it’s a gift, and this gift has a purpose. And, I believe it’s possible to experience joy in the journey—not just at the end when we’re sitting in front of a stack of our books signing copies for happy fans. No, even in the dark of night when we sit up late typing away, we can have joy.

You have a gift. Cherish it. Use it. And by all means, enjoy it.


L.T. Elliot said...

There are so many more applications in this than just writing. Although, I have found a great deal of peace in the message as it does relate to it. Thank you again, Ali, for another wonderful post.

Terresa said...

So true. We shouldn't have to look to others for validation in our writings, but being human, I suppose we are somehow wired that way.

As N. Goldberg suggests, "Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go."

Keith Fisher said...

Hang in there Ali. You are doing great work.