It's the subject of about a billion songs for a reason. As people we are so driven for what's next, for what's coming, for what dreams we can pursue and when we'll (finally!) see them fulfilled.
And that's great. Mostly.
I talked with Becky Wade at the ACFW conference last week, in Starbucks, and the conversation we had really stuck with me and has been kind of resonating in my mind along with my own thoughts. She was saying that she almost misses the days when she'd gotten her first contract but the book wasn't out (which is where I am now), because there was less pressure.
I laughed when she said it. Because I know she's right. Through some miracle, I think God has finally convinced me to appreciate where I am in my writing career.
I was that person who kind of wanted to whack published authors with my nametag, or something equally harmless, when they said at conferences to "enjoy being unpublished!" and "enjoy the time to write for fun!"
Blah. Blah. Blah. Whacks with a nametag for all of them. ;)
It's hard when someone else is where you want to be to hear them say this and resist the urge to resort to at least rolling your eyes. They insisted, at conference after conference (I went to 4 ACFW conferences before I got a contract) that you're never truly done dreaming. As soon as one dream if fulfilled, you want another, so soak in where you are, because every stage has it's unique blessings.
And you know what? They're actually right.
I think I finally started to realize this before I heard back from Love Inspired about my contract. I'd been rejected (haha, AGAIN) by an agent and thought about giving up. But I really, really, really wanted to see my name on a book. It had been one of my first dreams. I couldn't even remember when it started; it was that much a part of me. Then I remembered wisdom I'd gotten from a movie. I think it's "Cool Runnnings." One of the guys tells the others (from experience) that if you're not enough WITH a gold medal, you'll never be enough without it.
The first time I heard that quote I thought it was stupid. Haha. Seriously!
But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized it was true. If we can't be happy, be fulfilled to a degree (even if you have unfulfilled dreams and longings that linger), where we are, we will never reach the place where we're happy.
So. All of that to say, wherever you are, try to enjoy it. If you're topping the bestseller list somewhere, just enjoy that. Don't try to strive for more weeks up there, or dive headfirst into your next project. Enjoy your moment!
If you're getting contracts, but they're not the "big" ones you REALLY dream of. Enjoy it.
If you're waiting to hear back from an agent and you're really, really hoping this will be the thing that finally catapults you headfirst into a writing career, try to find enjoyment in the waiting. You're talking to agents! REAL agents who actually care to even look at your work. How fun is that??? =)
If you're waiting for your chance to go to a conference, for the motivation to finish, for the courage to start, SOAK in this season! It's an exciting time, the beginning of a dream, when the first sparkly bits of hope and excitement start to dance inside of you and you start to wonder if you could really, truly do this. I know you want your dreams fulfilled now, but if there was no struggle, no waiting, your dreams wouldn't be as cool as they are.
So where are you today? Can you find something to appreciate about your season in life or writing, crazy as it may drive you sometimes? Slow down. =) Soak it in. =) That's where I am today. Just trying to slow it down and enjoy it. I've only got one contract for now. For a book that isn't even out. But I don't want to rush by trying to think about my next 89786895 projects and making a detailed career plan to work on every waking moment of the day. I want to enjoy this. I want to be thankful. =)
Thanks for letting me share.