The Writing Life: Making Choices One Step at a Time

I did a funny thing at some point in this writing life. I can’t go into details because, well, I just can’t. But, it seems that instead of going after something that may have meant “more prestige(in some people’s eyes)” and “bragging rights” I instead chose the other thing.

I thought and thought on The Bigger Thing and the more I thought of it, the more strange I felt about it. But, when I would consider “the other thing” I felt an ease come over me. Well, there was my answer—except it isn’t as simple as that. For in choosing the other thing instead of The Bigger Thing, I will, or may, miss out on some larger outcomes—money for one.

But does it always have to be about money and More?

Sure, I’d like to make more money; I’d like to be financially independent. I have daydreams of making enough money to buy land around my mountain so no one can develop it ever as long as I live and own it. I have daydreams of helping family. I have daydreams of donating lots of books and money to libraries.

But, and there is that But again, I hesitated on a decision and in that hesitation there was an answer for me, or at least something I needed to consider more carefully.

This writing journey, this life journey, is full of moments of choice. The footprints we leave, and the footprints we follow, and the footprints we want to look back to see where we’ve gone.

I’ll never know if I’d have pursued The Big Thing aggressively if my life would have taken some bigger turn. I am not sure. However, I do know that choosing the other thing didn’t upset me, didn’t make me feel I was less than. I felt a peace with it.

I’ve done a lot of listening to published authors from all kinds of places and all kinds of situations. I’ve learned that more isn’t always better. I’ve learned that having what you thought you wanted isn’t always what you thought you would have. I’ve learned that this business is tough but it doesn’t mean I have to harden myself to it. I’ve learned “be careful what you wished for” really is a true and fitting cliché. I’ve learned that writers are never satisfied, that with each mile they/we walk up a mountain, they/we keep looking up to the top, and the top of that mountain is so very high with clouds and mists hiding what they/we can’t see, and there are many people below and above them/us on their/our way up—and after a while, it becomes about the striving to get to the top and not about how lovely the mountain is, how wonderful it feels to stretch the muscles, how clean the air smells, how nice it would be to talk to the people who the writer passes by or the people who pass by the writer.

So, I’ll keep doing my thing: writing my words, and the rest will work itself out. I’ll make my choices one step at a time and I won’t look back with regret. Looking back with regret is a waste of time and a dishonor to the life we live.

Sometimes it’s really about the journey and not where we end up, because—THERE IS NO END except death. Sometimes it’s just that walking walking walking and seeing what will happen next with a kind of wonder and joy and delight. Sometimes rushing headlong into the wind, or to the top, is a good great thing, and sometimes taking deliberate steps and looking all around and enjoying everything along the way is a good great thing. How we feel about it in our heart of hearts is our answer. How we sleep at night tells us so much.

What about you? Thoughts?

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