My new book NERD GIRLS hits the shelves today and when I think about all the time, effort, energy, humor and love I put into launching this first novel in a planned 5 book series, I have to remind myself that I have done my best.
Otherwise, everything will just smack of disappointment.
See, as a writer, there’s always an “I want more” aspect to this job. I want to write a book. I want to publish a book. I want to publish my book with a big publishing house. I want to do book signings and throw book launch parties and what not. And what happens once you get all that? You are bitten by the bug of “but oh there is so much more I still want, too.”
Very few writers I know are actually very satisfied with their careers, Hollywood or book authors. I think it has to do with there always being a higher level of success one can attain no matter where you are on the totem pole of authorship.
Of course, I don’t know J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyers or Stephen King or James Patterson and so on, so perhaps the A list superstars are not bitten by the bug previously mentioned. Yet when you are not in the A list club, it almost feels woven into your DNA to want to be in the A list club… and therefore, many of the moments you are not in this elite league are moments open to viewing your accomplishments through a prism of crestfallen disappointment.
It’s unhealthy. It’s not who I want to be. It smacks of ingratitude for all the good fortune I do have and a lack of appreciation for all that I have actually accomplished by the sweat of my own brow. And yet, I want a book of mine to debut at number 1. (It did not.) I want there to be a line of eager book buyers lining up around the block hungry to get their hands on my latest work. (There was not.) I want there to be movie stars eager to toss their hat in to play the various roles. (Not yet, at least.) I want, I want, I want.
Am I just a petualant 3 year old? Where is that zen place of giving your all and yet releasing yourself from the outcome of your work? Isn’t this what non-attachment is all about. Bust your butt, sweat, work 105 hour weeks and then when the moment comes when all the toil becomes made manifest… simply let go and allow the universe to be what it is.
I did my best. Who knows where all of this will lead? Of course, I will be doing book signings, speaking appearances, taking meetings with big time Hollywood muckety-mucks… all of that is already set. But am I where I had hoped I would be? Nope. Does that mean I am in a bad space? Not at all. Will I continue to give my all? Yep, but that’s because I find the work personally meaningful. The internal rewards fuel the fire; not the external goals. Yet, who in the ranks of professional authorhood does not want the gild (without the cage)? Ya gotta be a monk not to.
And so today, I did my best. Perhaps there is a lesson for others somewhere in here as well.